Shrines and temples in Nikko city, Tochigi prefecture, which are registered as World Heritage sites. The most famous one is Nikko Toshogu Shrine. The first generals of the Edo shogunate, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA is enshrined as God (Tosho Daigongen). This shrine is a peaceful and relaxing spirit of mind created by the approach paths that made use of the natural topography and the majestic group of shrines. The current group of shrines was rebuilt in “rebuild of Kanei era” by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third generation general. There are 55 buildings including 8 national treasures and 34 important cultural assets. Buildings are decorated with lacquer and vivid colors, and on the pillars and walls there are carvings of more than 5000 sculptures expressing academic thought. And they are also famous as power spots because they are thought to be made by Ieyasu ‘s idea that cherished Feng Shui and Yin Yang philosophy.
In the premises there is “Toshogu Treasure House” which collects and displays exhibits of Ieyasu, memorial items from courtiers, shoguns, Daimyo families. In addition, “Toshogu Museum of Art” that you can appreciate artworks such as wall painting and hanging scroll has been exhibited. In addition, there is “Toshogu Butokuden Hall” of a tangible cultural property that is also used as a venue for kendo practice and kendo festival.
In Toshogu Shrine, a magnificent event will be held twice a year. “Spring season festival” in May and “Autumn Great Festival” in November. In addition, the traditional event Yabusame (the art of shooting arrows on horseback) will be held in a wide approach to the front of Stone Torii. The wonderful bow of the shooters on horses are masterpiece. In addition, “Procession of 1,000 people” is a reproduction of the line when Ieyasu’s coffin was moved to Nikko, and you can enjoy the sight that three mikoshi and warriors walk through in long rows.
The “Nikko Toshogu Shrine” that is the most famous in the Shrines and the Temples of Nikko is the Shinto shrine where Tokugawa Ieyasu was enshrined. The current main shrine group was rebuilt in “Kanei no Daizoutai” (Major Alteration in Kanei period) by the third Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu. The architectural beauty of the early years of the Edo Period, which being lacquered and rich colored on the building, is seen in it.
There are many sights to see in the Nikko Toshogu Shrine including the three wise monkeys ‘which neither see, speak nor listen’. By order of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu that “You may spend as much money as you want for the construction and the design” in this Toshogu, it had been built luxuriously.
The splendid main shrine, five-storied pagoda, gate, garden lanterns form a line in the precincts, all of them are solemn and splendid. The gorgeously coloured Yomei-mon Gate is particularly famous in that. It is also called “Higurashi-mon Gate”, because it is so beautiful that you see it until a day goes down.
This gate that more than 500 sculptures are engraved was designated National Treasure.
In the God stable, that famous “three monkeys” are seen. You may feel the actual carved figure is little small.
The Toshogu annual festival is held as a yearly event twice in spring and summer in Toshogu. “Sennin Musha Gyoretsu” (a procession of one thousand samurai), a procession that carries Mikoshi (portable shrine carried in festivals) goes up and down a sando (an approach to the temple), and Yabusame, which a Shinto religious horseback archery ceremony, are performed.
|Name:||Nikko Toshogu Shrine|
|Adresse:||Sannai 2301 Nikko, Tochigi 321-1431 Japan|
|Access:||JR Nikko-sen Line “Nikko-eki Station” (10 minutes by car)|
|Price:||1,300 yen (Adult)
450 yen (Elementary ⁄ Middle School Students)
Please refer the official web page.