Nikko National Park
Nikko National Park (543sq.mi/ 1407sq.km) with its mighty peaks, ancient forests, wide expanses of moorland, lakes and waterfalls is one of the most beautiful and most visited regions in Japan.Nikko National Park has a number of spas that yield a plentiful supply of hot mineral water and have become a favorite resting place for visitors. Recreational and sports facilities include hiking, camping, mountain climbing, boating, fishing, skiing and skating.Among the Nikko mountains are Mt Okushirane (2,578m), Mt Nantai, Mt Nasu, and Mt Hiuchi.
The Toshogu Shrine consists of 22 buildings, each with lavish decoration, a result of the time period when applied art and architecture were reaching a pinnacle in Japan.
The Rinnoji Temple of the Tendai sect was probably founded in 848 by a priest named Ennin (794-864) and modeled on a temple on the sacred mountain, Mount Hiei. The Abbot's Lodging (Hombo) and its garden can be seen by previous appointment. In the main hall, the Sambutsu-do (Hall of the Three Buddhas, 1648), are gilded statues 26ft/ 8m high of Amida-nyorai, the Thousand-Handed Kannon and Bato -Kannon (this last with a horse's head on her forehead, symbolizing her role as the patroness of animals) and portraits of Abbots Tenkai (1536-1643) and Ryogen (912-985). To the north, on higher ground, stands a 43ft/ 13m high bronze column (Sorinto), set up by Tenkai in 1643 to ward off evil spirits. To the right of the column is the Gohotendo, a hall dedicated to the divinities Daikokuten, Bishamonten and Benzaiten.
The Futaarasan Shrine, founded by Shodo in 784 and rebuilt in 1619, is dedicated to the divine couple Onamuchi and Tagorihime and their son Ajisukitakahikone, the divinities of Mount Nantai (formerly called Mount Futaarasan), to the west of Nikko. It consists of the Main Shrine, Honsha; an upper shrine, Okumiya, on the summit of the hill; and the Middle Shrine, Chugushi, on Lake Chuzenji, built for the convenience of pilgrims who could not climb the hill.The shrine consists of a Cult Hall, a Chinese-style gate (Karamon) and the Honden (Main Hall), where in return for an appropriate offering the Kagura cult dance will be performed by young girls.
Nikko is a small town located at the entrance to Nikko National Park. It is also located along Japan's Romantic Road. The town is noted for the Toshogu, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan for over 250 years.
Nikko Toshogu is a Shinto shrine and part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikko", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The shrine was founded in 1617 and is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.The Toshogu is decorated with abundant wood carvings and large amounts of gold leaf.
Tamozawa Imperial Villa
The Tamozawa Imperial Villa was built in 1899 to serve as a place for the Emperor of Taisho to rest during the summer months. It is noted as one of the biggest wooden buildings in Japan, with 106 rooms. The interior paintings and decoration are of particular cultural value.
More Nikko National Park Pictures