Day 2 of Winter Travel in Nikko ~Mt. Nikko Rinno-ji and Nikko Toshogu Shrine~
Visiting Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a shrine founded in 1617 that is dedicated to Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate of the Edo period. It is considered the main point of the World Heritage Site “The Temples and Shrines of Nikko,” and there’s plenty to see here, such as a group of 55 luxurious shrines, including 8 national treasures and 34 Important Cultural Assets.
※Audio guides (available in English and Chinese) can be rented for 500 yen per day. If you would like to rent one, visit the reception desk.
Ishidorii (Stone Torii Gate)
This stone torii gate, called Ishidorii, was dedicated by Kuroda Nagamasa in 1618. The stone for the gate was brought all the way from Kyushu.
Gojunoto (Five-Story Pagoda)
The seismic base isolation used on Gojunoto was apparently also used in the construction of Tokyo Skytree.
I walked around the tower.
It’s decorated with images of the 12 zodiac signs.
Sanjinko (Three Sacred Storehouses)
Sanjinko, or the three sacred storehouses, is a collection of three buildings: Kamijinko, Nakajinko, and Shimojinko. They store the harnesses and costumes used in the Procession of 1,000 Samurai, held in spring and autumn, among other things.
Shinkyusha (Sacred Stable)
This is the stable for the shrine’s sacred horses.
The statues here of the Three Wise Monkeys, embodying “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil,” are famous.
Yomeimon, repairs of which were completed in March of 2017, is colored entirely in beautiful gold.
Yomeimon is also called the “Gate of the Setting Sun,” thanks to how the vivid sculptures adorning the building are something you could look at all day without tiring.
Since the building was freshly redone after repairs, everyone was stopping for pictures.
It truly was a gorgeous sight.
Even the interior sparkles with gold.
Okumiya (Inner Shrine)
After climbing 207 steps, I reached Okumiya, the innermost part of Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
Okumiya is home to Ieyasu’s tomb.
I then went back the same way I came.
Nikko Toshogu Shrine Treasure House
Nikko Toshogu Shrine Treasure House hosts various collections and exhibits, including Ieyasu Tokugawa’s treasured items, offerings from the imperial court, acceding families, and daimyo, as well as items used in the main shrine’s festivals. Additionally, the “Toshogu Theater” was playing short 10-minute CG animations on Ieyasu Tokugawa and VR productions on Yomeimon.
(Admission fee: 1,000 yen)
Birth place: Tokyo
While living outside of Japan for a while, I began appreciating what Japan has to offer.