There are many shrines in Japan, but have you ever heard of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, one of the most beautifully decorated shrines in Japan?
I was there the other day and here is my report on the charms of Nikko Toshogu Shrine!
Nikko Toshogu Shrine Location
Nikko Toshogu Shrine is located in Nikko City, Tochigi, Japan.
The main deity is Tosho Daigongen, a deified version of the Japanese shogun “Tokugawa Ieyasu”.
It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the nearest station, so I took a bus.
The trees along the approach to the shrine are very beautiful.
After getting off the bus, I quickly went to the approach to the shrine.
The weather on this day was fine.
The fresh greenery is very beautiful and it is refreshing just to walk around.
Walking slowly, I saw the torii gate of the shrine.
The view of the tall trees and the torii gate is so beautiful that it is a must-see point to take pictures.
The five-story pagoda was visible on the left immediately after passing through the torii gate.
It was built in 1650, but was destroyed by fire due to a lightning strike and rebuilt in 1818.
Let’s find Toshogu shrine monkeys!
When you visit Nikko Toshogu Shrine, look for the sculptures of monkeys.
In the stables where the horses the gods ride rest, there are 16 monkey sculptures.
The most famous of the 16 monkey sculptures is the one representing “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.
It is said to represent the teachings of “don’t listen to words that lead you astray,” “don’t see bad behavior as natural,” and “don’t speak ill of people without reason”.
Nikko Toshogu Shrine also has other animal sculptures
Further on, there was a gate.
A dragon is carved on it.
There was also a cool lion.
By the way, why are there so many animal sculptures at Nikko Toshogu?
According to one theory, the animal sculptures symbolize “peace”.
The tiger, the zodiac sign under which the Japanese shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu was born, is often used in the carvings on buildings.
Don’t miss “Nemuri-neko(Sleepy cat)”
There is a sculpture of a sleeping cat at the gate leading to the inner shrine.
In fact, the cat sculpture is in a posture that makes it look like it is sleeping, but is ready to pounce at any moment.
It is said to be protecting Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Another theory is that it also means “the more the cat sleeps, the more peaceful it is.”
Nikko Toshogu Shrine also has a variety of other animal sculptures, so if you see one, be sure to take a picture.
My recommend spot is “Yakushido”.
Photography was prohibited, so there are no photos, but if you visit Nikko Toshogu Shrine, please visit the Yakushido.
There’s a painting of a “cry dragon,” and it’s just too cool for words.
When you strike a beat right below the dragon’s face, the dragon painting on the ceiling and the floor resonate, creating a high-pitched sound.
I bought a good-luck charm and a wooden plaque to take advantage of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, which is also a symbol of peace.
The sleeping cat amulet is said to bring good luck!
Nikko Toshogu, a very nice shrine.
If you ever get the chance, you should definitely go!