Nikkō Tōshō-gū

Nikkō Tōshō-gū (日光東照宮) is a Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

Together with Futarasan Shrine and Rinnō-ji, it forms the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō UNESCO World Heritage Site, with 42 structures of the shrine included in the nomination. Five of them are designated as National Treasures of Japan, and three more as Important Cultural Properties.

History

Tōshō-gū is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. It was initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada was shōgun. It was enlarged during the time of the third shōgun, Iemitsu. Ieyasu is enshrined there, where his remains are also entombed. This shrine was built by Tokugawa retainer Tōdō Takatora.

During the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate carried out stately processions from Edo to the Nikkō Tōshō-gū along the Nikkō Kaidō. The shrine's annual spring and autumn festivals reenact these occasions, and are known as "processions of a thousand warriors". Also part of the beauty is the row of majestic trees lining the roadway, termed the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō.

Five structures at Nikkō Tōshō-gū are categorized as National Treasures of Japan, and three more as Important Cultural Properties. Additionally, two swords in the possession of the shrine are National Treasures, and lots other objects are Important Cultural Properties. Famous buildings at the Tōshō-gū include the richly decorated Yōmeimon, a gate that is also known as "higurashi-no-mon". The latter name means that one could look at it until sundown, and not tire of seeing it. Carvings in deep relief, painted in rich colors, decorate the surface of the structure. The next gate is the karamon decorated with white ornaments. Located nearby is a woodcarving of a sleepy cat, "Nemuri-neko", attributed to Hidari Jingorō.

The stable of the shrine's sacred horses bears a carving of the three wise monkeys, who hear, speak and see no evil, a traditional symbol in Chinese and Japanese culture.

The original five-storey pagoda was donated by a daimyō in 1650, but it was burned down during a fire, and was rebuilt in 1818. Each storey represents an element–earth, water, fire, wind and aether (or void)–in ascending order. Inside the pagoda, a central shinbashira pillar hangs from chains to minimize damage from earthquakes.

Hundreds of stone steps lead through the cryptomeria forest up to the grave of Ieyasu. A torii at the top bears calligraphy attributed to Emperor Go-Mizunoo. A bronze urn contains the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

In 2008 Yuri Kawasaki became the first female Shinto priest ever to serve at Nikkō Tōshō-gū.

See also

  • List of National Treasures of Japan (shrines)
  • List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts-swords)
  • Shinbashira, the central wooden column, almost freely suspended

External links

Listed in the following categories:
Post a comment
Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Irene M
28 December 2016
Absolutely amazing. Indispensable stop in the travel. You need almost two or tree days to see everything. But with only one is enough to see almost one or two of the most impressive sanctuaries.
ML
11 March 2016
Amazing architecture. Though the main shrine is under renovation until 2019, you can still get to see the inside of it. Just be prepared to take off your shoes!
Natalie Downe
16 September 2014
Absolutely lovely shrine, worth a visit! Wear slip-on shoes as you take them off a lot. The 200 steps to the inner shrine is pretty hard going and not stunning, if you have bad knees give it a miss.
Massara Nati …
17 September 2013
【世界文化遺産】現在の社殿群はそのほとんどがご鎮座から20年後の寛永13年(1636)に建て替えられたもの。陽明門など55棟、その費用は、金56万8千両、銀百貫匁、米千石を要し、ご造営の総責任者には秋元但馬守泰朝、工事や大工の総責任者には大棟梁甲良豊後宗広があたり、わずか1年5ヶ月の工期で完成しました。
Sq Pan
18 February 2013
冬季は15時半でチケット売り場と各寺社の入り口が閉まるのでご注意を。
Izui Masakazu
2 January 2016
初詣期間中、石鳥居のやや手前の砂利道に日光郵便局が出張所を開設。日光駅前郵便局、日光郵便局が元日とかで休みでもここでハガキや年賀ハガキを買って差出せる。オリジナル切手シートの販売や、二荒山・輪王寺のオリジナルスタンプなどの特典もある。
Load more comments
foursquare.com
9.3/10
Clara ????, みうら こいわい and 26,813 more people have been here
Map
2301 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1431, Japan Get directions
Mon 9:00 AM–4:00 PM
Tue-Fri 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

Nikko Toshogu Shrine on Foursquare

Hotels nearby

See all hotels See all
Nikko Station Hotel II

starting $67

Stay Nikko Guesthouse

starting $63

Hotel Famitic Nikko

starting $36

Nikko Park Lodge Tobu Station

starting $22

Nikkosan BackPackers Inn

starting $27

Nikko Guesthouse Sumica

starting $25

Recommended sights nearby

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Futarasan Shrine

Futarasan Shrine (二荒山神社, Futarasan Jinja) is a Shinto sh

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Nikkō, Tochigi

is a city located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Kegon Falls

Kegon Falls (華厳滝, Kegon no Taki) are located at Lake Chūzenji (sourc

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Lake Chūzenji

is a scenic lake in Nikkō National Park in the city of Nikkō, T

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Ryūzu Falls

Ryūzu Falls (龍頭滝, -taki, lit. 'Dragon's Head Waterfall') is a waterf

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Senjōgahara

Senjōgahara (戦場ヶ原) is a 4 square kilometres area in Tochigi Prefectu

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
大谷資料館

大谷資料館(おおやしりょうかん)は、栃木県宇都宮市大谷町909にある大谷石採石場跡に関する博物館。

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Nikkō National Park

Nikkō National Park (日光国立公園, Nikkō Kokuritsu Kōen) is a national park

Similar tourist attractions

See all See all
Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Dazaifu Tenmangū

Dazaifu Tenman-gū (太宰府天満宮) is a Shinto shrine in Dazaifu, Fuk

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Kanda Shrine

Kanda Shrine (神田明神, Kanda-myōjin, officially 神田神社 Kanda-jinja), i

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Akagi Shrine (赤城神社)

Akagi Shrine (赤城神社) is a tourist attraction, one of the Shrines

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Tsurugaoka Hachimangū

Tsurugaoka Hachimangū (鶴岡八幡宮) is the most important Shinto shrine in

Add to wishlist
I've been here
Visited
Kasuga-taisha

is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nara, in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

See all similar places