The natural surroundings and the shrines and temples of Nikko form a complex that will leave you thoroughly awed. The ensemble consist of 103 religious buildings and shrines in 2 Shinto shrines.
The natural surroundings and the shrines and temples of Nikko form a complex that will leave you thoroughly awed. The ensemble consist of 103 religious buildings and shrines in 2 Shinto shrines. The shrines are known as the Toshogu and the Futarasan-jinja. Another imposing feature in the complex is the Buddhist temple – The Rinno-ji.
For centuries Nikko has been a sacred site that is renowned for architectural and decorative masterpieces. The shrines and temples found here have a close association with the history of Tokugawa shoguns.
The complex sits on a 51 hectares piece of land, which has further been given a buffer zone of 353 hectares. It was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1991 in order to preserve its universal value.
Many of the religious buildings that you will find here were built in the 17th century. They are arranged cascadingly on the slopes of the sacred Nikko Mountains. The first of such buildings was built by a Buddhist monk in the 8th century. Fast forward to today and you will find and you got buildings that boast centuries of history. They are in various states of conservation and restoration, with the religious buildings retaining their splendor throughout the history. One of the most symbolic figures in the Japanese history, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu is clearly eulogized by the buildings he built.
The unusual character of the ensemble is a culmination of long standing values that have held the Japanese social fabric for hundreds of years. The long tradition of worship, high level of artistic and architectural achievement, the alliance between architecture and surrounding natural setting and other repositories of national memory found in Nikko makes you wish that you holiday was a little bit longer so that you can study more.
Whatever else you do during your tour of Japan, make sure you learn the ways of Buddhism from this national treasure. It is the kind of experience you can never have anywhere else…imagine waking up at 3.00AM to commune with yourself and meditate…This are the kind of stuff you see in Chinese and Japanese movies, only now, you will be living them.