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  • Overview You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  

    Nikko's famous Toshogu shrine is a place of time-honored traditions: you will see local devotees write wooden prayers and the "hear none, speak none, see none-monkeys" demonstrating their aversion to evil.

    Here you will find truly national treasures: the numerous buildings of the Toshogu Shrine feature a lavish opulence that is found nowhere else in Japan.

  • Construction History You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  
    Lemitsu, who was leyasu’s grandson and the third Tokugawa shogun (1603-1651) undertook the building of Toshogu.

    He has his own resting place here at Daiyu-in to the west of Futarasan. Smaller in scale, Daiyou-in the fact the more impressive mausoleum, set on a forested hillside and approached by there flight of stone stairs and five decorative gates.

    The most impressive of these, at the top of the stairs, is the Yashamon (“She-Demon Gate” so named for the figures in its four alcoves.

    The sanctum of the shrine, designated a National Treasure, has a gilded and lacquered altar some 3 m (nearly 10 ft ) high, where a seated wooden figure of lemitsu looks down upon his mighty works.
  • Getting there? You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  
    A short bus ride from the station Plaza brings you to the red lacquer Shinkyo (“Sacred Bridge”, a 28-m (92-ft) span over the Daiya River, where your exploration of Toshogu begins.

    The bridge marks the spot where the Buddhist priest Shodo is said to have crossed the river in the year 766 on the backs of two huge serpents, to found the temple that would later become Rinnoji.

    An entrance to the shrine complex is just across the road, opposite the bridge and up a flight of stone steps that brings you first to Shodo’s temple.
  • What can you see and do? You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  

    Rinnoji belongs to the Tendai sect of Buddhism. The main hall, called the Sanbutsudo, with its almost erotic color scheme of black and green and vermilion, dates to 1648 and is the largest single building at Toshogu. Inside are there huge gold lacquered statues, representing three different manifestations of the Buddha. In the center is Amida Nyorai, the Buddha who leads believers to Paradise; on the right is Senju (“Thousand-Armed”) Kannon , the goddess of mercy: on the left is Bato-Kannon, depicted with a horse’s head on its forehead, regarded as the protector of animals. North of the main hall is the Goho-tendo, a subtemple where worshippers inscribe their prayers for health and prosperity on slats of wood that are later burned to carry the prayers to heaven. To the south is the residence of the Abbot- by tradition an imperial prince-with a particularly fine garden in the style of the Edo period.

    Leaving Rinnoji from the west side, you come to the broad Omotesando avenue that leads uphill to the shrine itself. Note the monument to the daimyo Matsudaira Masatane, Ieyasu’s trusted retainer. Matsudaira spent some 20 years planting the majestic cryptomeria cedars on the grounds of the shrine and along the 64-km (40-mile) avenue of approach. Alas, much of the avenue has been destroyed: a few sections of it survive on the road east of town, where many of the 13,000 trees still standing are maintained by corporate sponsors.

    At the top of on the left of the Omote-sando is a five-story high pagoda, decorated with the twelve signs of the Asian zodiac and the hollyhock crest which belongs to the Tokugawa family.

    From here you will find a flight of stone steps that leads to the first gate of Toshogu: known as the Omotemon, which is guarded by two fierce-looking Deva kings painted in red.

    In the first courtyard is the stable, which houses the shrine’s sacred white horse; the carved panel above the door is the famous group of three monkeys-“Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!”- that has become a symbol of Nikko, the logo on virtually every souvenir. At the far end of the courtyard is the Kyozo (Sutra Library), which houses some 7000 Buddhist scriptures in a huge revolving bookcase.

    As you approach a second set of stone steps, you see on the right a belfry and a tall bronze candelabrum; on the left is a drum tower and a bronze revolving lantern. The two bronzes were presented in the mid -17th century by the Dutch government, in gratitude for the special exemption that gave them exclusive trading privileges with Japan during the period of national seclusion. Off to the left is the Yakushi-do a temple honoring the manifestation of the Buddha as healer of illnesses.

    At the top of the steps is the two-story Yomeimon, the “Gate of Sunlight”- the triumphal masterpiece of Toshogu, rightly declared a Nation Treasure. This is the ultimate expression of the opulent Momoyama style inspired by Chinese Ming sculpture and architecture. Ivory-white and 11.3 m (37 ft) high, its columns beams, and cornices are carved with a menagerie of dragons, phoenixes, lions, and tigers in a field of clouds, peonies, Chinese sages, and angels, all gilded and painted in red, gold, blue, and green. To the right and left of the gate there are paneled galleries, also carved and painted with a motifs from nature: pine and plum trees, birds of the field, and waterfowl.

    Inside the gate to the left is the Mikoshi-gura, a storeroom for the portable shrines that grace the semi-annual Toshogu Festival processions (18 May and 17 October). To the right is the Kaguraden, a hall where ceremonial dances are performed to honor the gods-and where for a modest fee, couples can have Shinto wedding ceremonies performed, complete with flutes and drums and shrine maidens to attend them.

    Opposite the yomeimon, across the courtyard, is the Karamon (“Chinese gate”), the official entrance to the inner shrine. This structure, like Yomeimon, is also National Treasure and just as ornately carved and painted. The walls on both sides of this gate enclose the handed (main hall) of the shrine. The entrance is to the right. Here you remove your shoes (lockers are provided) to visit the outer part of the hall, called the haiden (oratory).You may not proceed further than this, for at the far end of the oratory are the naijin (inner chamber) and nai-naijin (innermost chamber), where the spirit of leyasu is enshrined. With him are two other worthy companions: Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Leyasu’s mentor, and great 12th century warrior Minamoto no Yoritomo, who founded the Kamakurs shogunate- whom leyasu claimed as an ancestor.

    The tour next takes you to another Toshogu icon: the famous Gate of the Sleeping Cat. The cat itself, on a small panel above the entrance, is said to have been sculpted by Hidari Jigoro, a legendary master carver of the Tokugawa period. From here a flight of 207 stone steps takes you up through a wokderful forest of cedars to Leyasu Togugawa’s tomb. The climb is worth making, if only for the view the trees, and a cool, rushing steam. The tomb itself, a miniature bronze pagoda that house the great shogun’s ashes, is nothing special.

  • Where to go next? You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  
    A short walk west form Toshogu itself is surely and oldest of the institutions on this holy ground, Futarasan Jinja is a Shinto shrine founded in the 8th century to honor the deity Okuni-nushi-no -Mikoto (“God of the Rice fields”), his consort, and their son.

    In one corner of the enclosure is a bronze lantern some 2.3 m (7.5 ft) high; the deep nicks in the bronze were made by guards on duty at the shrine, who believed that lantern transformed itself into a goblin at night .Such was the incredible cutting power of the Japanese superstition.
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      • Futarasan jinja
        0.35 Km from Nikkō Tōshō-gū
        Futarasan jinja (二荒山神社) is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is also known as Nikkō Futarasan Shrine, to distinguish it from the shrine in nearby Utsunomiya. Futarasan enshrines three deities: Ōkuninushi, Tagorihime, and Ajisukitakahikone. It is located between Nikkō Tōshō-gū and the Taiyū-in Mausoleum. Many visitors go to all three, as well as to Rinnō-ji. Together with Nikkō Tōshō-gū and Rinnō-ji, it forms the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō UNESCO World Heritage...
      • Bandai Museum
        38.79 Km from Nikkō Tōshō-gū

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      Climate near Nikkō Tōshō-gū

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      Graphic showing average weather in Nikkō Tōshō-gū in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)

      Month Temp °C Rainfall Cm Temp °F Rainfall Inches
      Jan 2 43.7 35.6 17.2
      Feb 2.5 68.8 36.5 27.1
      Mar 5.6 96.5 42.1 38
      Apr 11.3 133.8 52.3 52.7
      May 16 164.9 60.8 64.9
      Jun 20 196.8 68 77.5
      Jul 24.3 261.3 75.7 102.9
      Aug 25.2 309.9 77.4 122
      Sep 21.6 297.4 70.9 117.1
      Oct 15.4 175.8 59.7 69.2
      Nov 9.9 78 49.8 30.7
      Dec 4.5 47.2 40.1 18.6

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        Google Reviews Nikkō Tōshō-gū

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        • It’s awesome to see how ancient people built such a massive complex in the middle of a forest without destroying much of the nature. It also impressive to see so much detail in being put for its restoration work. The complex blends into the nature. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the overflowing tourists.
        • The history and beauty is still mind blowing. Went when it was rainy and foggy but it didn't ruin it at all, only added to the atmosphere and the experience. Could not recommend going enough. It was like dreaming being their.
        • Most impressive and outstanding shrines in Nikko. Great nature surroundings. Nice walk through stairs to Ieyasu's Tomb.
        • A rich culture experience of Buddhism and Shinto religion. The artistic one wood sculptures, Chinese zodiac influenced designs, dragon paintings, life stages depicted in monkey’s sculpture, candle lanterns, echo demonstration below the dragon mouth were few of the many highlights of this place.
        • NIKKO is Nippon! Nikko is a small city in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, in the mountains north of Tokyo. It’s the site of Toshogu, the famed Shinto shrine established in 1617 as a lavish memorial for Tokugawa Ieyasu, founding ruler of the Tokugawa shogunate, or Edo Period. The shrine comprises the gilded Yomeimon Gate, the main sanctuary set in a cedar grove and the tomb itself. It’s a must come place!


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          Name : Nikkō Tōshō-gū
          Address : Nikkō Tōshō-gū 2301 Sannai, Nikkō-shi, Tochigi-ken 321-1431, Japan
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