Deeper into Nikko

As we wander further into the beautiful world heritage site of Nikko we’re overwhelmed by the decoration and religious details.

Below is the Mizuya, a stone building sheltering the water basin used for purification before entering the temple buildings.

Below are more details of the Kyōzō, the shrine’s storehouse for sutras or holy scriptures.

I love the weathered deep red contrasting with the old gilt detailing around the windows and the roof rims.

Below are a wall of wooden prayer sticks and a verdigris temple bell. All the colours are muted and misty on the grey day that we visit, adding an extra air of mysticism.

Beautiful carvings line the walls of the inner courtyard close to the second gate of the complex known as Yomeimon.

The richly decorated Yōmeimon is also known as “higurashi-no-mon.” The name means that one could look at it until sundown, and not tire of seeing it.

However, as Tokyo prepares for the Olympics in 2020, the gate was sadly covered in scaffolding so we couldn’t get much of a view! Above are the only two glimpses we got!

Above and below are details from the final gate of the complex, known as Karamon, the Chinese gate, it leads into the Haiden.

A full-fledged Shintō shrine is typically a two-part structure: the Haiden, or oratory, before which worshippers say prayers and the Honden, or inner sanctum, the main dwelling of the shrine’s deity.

Plus there’s an enjoyable wall of ornate Sake barrels for me to happily snap away at too.

There’s plenty more to be seen in the Nikko complex so watch this space!

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