Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Landmarks in Japan

Take a study trip through Japan – the land of the rising sun, and immerse yourself in a completely new cultural area! Japan is considered the fourth largest island nation in the world and actually consists of four larger islands and a few thousand smaller islands, some of which are uninhabited! Explore the largest cities of Japan on a round trip, such as the capital Tokyo with the Tokyo Globe Theater, Kabuki-za Theater, the Opera House, the Edo Tokyo Museum, the Meiji Shrine, the Prime Minister’s State Chancellery, the 333 meter high Tokyo Tower, the oldest and most famous Taito temple; Yokohama with the Yamashita Park at the harbor, the Minato Mirai 21 with the Landmark Tower (at 296 m the tallest building in Japan), the Silk Museum or the Amtsuri Museum; Osaka with Osaka Castle, the Tsutenkaku observation tower, the pagoda at Shitenno-ji; Nagoya with the station with towers (considered to be the tallest station building in the world), the Atsuta shrine, the television tower; the city of Sapporo; Kôbe with the Kôbe Tower, the Akashi-Kaikyô Bridge or the Kôbe Maritime Museum; the city of Kyôto; Fukuoka; Kawasaki with the Buddhist temple Kawasaki Daishi, the Kotohira Shrine, the Toshiba Museum, or Hiroshima with the atomic bomb dome, the peace tower, the memorial for the Korean victims, the peace museum and the peace memorial. Discover other sights that these cities have to offer. Get to know this particularly diverse and culturally rich country on a study trip! the Peace Museum and the Peace Monument. Discover other sights that these cities have to offer. Get to know this particularly diverse and culturally rich country on a study trip! the Peace Museum and the Peace Monument. Discover other sights that these cities have to offer. Get to know this particularly diverse and culturally rich country on a study trip!

Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Location and beginnings of the shrines and temples of Nikko

According to topschoolsintheusa, Nikko is located 140 km north of the Japanese city of Tokyo. More precisely, it is in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture.
Thanks to the grandiose integration of the buildings into the surrounding landscape, Japan’s religious ideal of harmony between man and nature is expressed.
Nikko’s story began at the end of the 8th century. At that time, the Buddhist monk Shōdō Shōnin decided to build a temple in the pristine mountains in the northeast of what was then Kyoto, which served as an inconspicuous but important monastery for a long time. It only became famous in the 17th century when Tokugawa Ieyasu wanted to be buried here. The ruler intended to continue protecting his country as a deity after his death. Then a mighty shrine was built in which he was to be worshiped. The whole complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

Futarasan Shrine

The Futarasan Shrine was used to worship the three Shinto mountain deities of the region: Onamuchi no Mikoto is the god of Mount Nantai, Tagorihime no Mikoto is the goddess of Mount Nyotai and Mount Taro is the symbol of their child, who is worshiped as Ajisukitakahikono no Mikoto. The entrance to the shrine is adorned with a bronze torii. In contrast to the other sanctuaries, the rest of the buildings in the shrine are simple. The Shinkyo Bridge (dt. Bridge of God) also belongs to the Futarasan area.

Rinnoji Temple

The Rinnoji Temple was based on another temple that is built on the holy mountain Hiei. The Rinnoji Temple was built at the beginning of the 17th century. The Taiyu-in Reibyo houses the remains of Tokugawa. The main attraction of the Rinnoji temple complex is the largest hall in Nikko – the Sanbutsu-do hall. In addition to the portraits of the temple abbots Tenkai and Ryogen, there are also three eight-meter-high wooden statues adorned with gold. There are also temple treasures and the impressive Shoyoen garden to marvel at.

Toshogue shrine

This shrine was built by Shogun Hidetada in 1617 in memory of his father Tokugawa. It was built in the typical Edo style, the Gongen-zukuri style. It reflects the genius and creativity of the architects of the Edo period. Visitors enter the Toshogue Shrine through the Niomon Gate. One of the three unique Karamon gates is located here. The most beautifully decorated building in the temple and in all of Nikko is Yomeimon Gate.

Travel to Fuji

Anyone planning a trip to Japan should definitely include Mount Fuji. In contrast to other 3000 m mountains, it is easier to climb, four different hiking routes lead from the foot of Mount Fuji, past the temples and pilgrimage sites, up to its summit. Due to the different routes, climbing the mountain can be an exciting experience for people of all ages. True to the motto ‘The journey is the goal’, you can be captivated by the beautiful nature and the spiritual atmosphere of the holy mountain while hiking. But not only the path is convincing – at the top there is a fantastic view which, when visibility is good, encompasses 100km and even makes the distant Tokyo visible.

A very special experience is offered to hikers who spend the night in one of the mountain huts and climb to the summit early in the morning. Admiring the sunrise from Mount Fuji is one of the most spectacular experiences on any trip to Japan.

Shrines and Temples of Nikko