Nikko Toshogu temple 東照宮
“Nikko Toshogu” [日光東照宮/にっこうとうしょうぐう]temple is one of the most famous touring spot. Many Japanese elementary students visit as field trip.
The history of this shrine is over 400years. The first shogun (general) in Edo shogunate named Ieyasu Tokugawa was deified at this shrine.
There are many highlight spots in this shrine, so we’ll introduce you some.
【Sanjinko(三神庫) and Sanen-no-Choukoku(三猿の彫刻)】
“Samjinko” means three building (Kamijinko, Nakajinko, Shimojinko). In their building, harness and costume which use for the festival are stored. Under the roof of “kamijinko”, there is a “Souzou-no-Zou”(想像の像). This means “the elephant carved in imagination”. This is come from a carver, who hasn’t seen the elephant, carved the elephant in just his imagination.
“Sanen-no-Choukoku” means “the carve of three monkeys”. You can see them at the “kamikyusha”(神厩舎), which locate opposite side of “sanjinko”. Each monkeys are representing “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.
【Yomeimon gate(陽明門) and Honden(本殿)】
“Yomeimon” gate is the entrance of “Honden” (main shrine). “Yomeimon” gate is one of the most gorgeous gates in Japan. And inside of “Honden”, there are many beautiful animals are carved. They are really beautiful.
【Nemuri-neko(眠り猫) and Okunomiya(奥宮)】
“Nemuri-neko” (sleeping cat) is also the highlight of this shrine. It is the defender of the entrance to “Okunomiya” (rear shrine). The ways to “Okunomiya”, there are 200 rock stairs. And the top of the “Okunomiya” there is “Okunomiya-haiden”(奥宮拝殿) , which only shogun(general) can enter it. Also, there is a “Kanae-sugi”(叶え杉), which means “the cedar tree that grant your wish”.
In May 17th and 18th, big spring festivals are held.
In 17th, you can see “Yabusame”(流鏑馬) and “Yoinarisai”(宵成祭).
And in 18th, you can see the “Sennin-musha-gyouretu(千人武者行列). The meanings is “1,000 samurais line”, which representing the samurais line held in 400 years ago.