7th July 2012: Nikkō {Japan, summer 2012}

Nikkō [日光市] is about 140 km north of Tokyo, a couple of hours train ride. While the town itself might not seem much, close to it there is lies the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō Unesco World Heritage Site, and here we headed off on Saturday.

The area holds a whooping 103 buildings or structures, though the natural setting around them is also considered heritage. The buildings belong to two Shinto shrines: Futarasan Jinja [二荒山神社] and Tōshō-gū [東照宮], and one Buddhist temple Rinnō-ji [輪王寺]. Nine of the structures are designated National Treasures of Japan while the remaining 94 are Important Cultural Properties. Unesco listed the site as World Heritage in 1999.

A rock reading World Heritage Shrines and Temples of Nikko in English and Japanese

As you might be able to tell, it was raining. Like magic. Like hell. Cats and dogs. And then some.

Highlights include the Three wise monkeys, “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil”:

Wooden carvings of three monkeys: one is covering its ears, another is covering its mouth and the other is covering its eyes

The mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu:

A torii in black and gold. It's raining

A small one-story pagoda, the mausoleum itself

A five-storey pagoda (gojūnōto) belonging to Tōshō-gū:

A five-story pagoda, in red, green and gold. It's still raining.

The inner buildings of Furata-san Jinja:

Dark wood buildings decorated in green and gold. It's still raining

The entrance to Tōshō-gū:

Shrine entrance. The entrance is completely golden. It's still raining

However, since I would not be me without finding (and falling in love with) something obscure and creepy, have a small shrine to the side of the road nobody was paying attention to:

A forlorne stone torii forgotten in the middle of the forest

Did I mention it was raining? Because it was. All the damn day XD

4 thoughts on “7th July 2012: Nikkō {Japan, summer 2012}

  1. I was hoping one of the pictures of the steps would turn out well enough to show the huge drops. One day I will see Nikko without rain!!


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