Final details

A last look now at the sumptuous shrines and temples of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Nikko.

Toshogu Shrine, one of the main sites at Nikko, is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868.

Ieyasu is enshrined at Toshogu as the deity Tosho Daigongen, “Great Deity of the East Shining Light”.

Initially it was a simple mausoleum but Toshogu was enlarged into the spectacular complex seen today by Ieyasu’s grandson Iemitsu during the first half of the 1600s.

Nikko is very different from other shrine complexes in Japan.

The ornate wood carvings and large amounts of gold leaf that decorate the buildings is seldom seen elsewhere in Japan, where simplicity has been traditionally stressed in shrine architecture.

Detail is everywhere from the subtle patterns of shutters to the beautifully ornate multi layered roofs.

Outside of the shrine complex modernity intrudes once again with the man sizing up a vending machine in a random car park! Seventeen ice was one of our favourites . . . .

We’re drawn to stalls selling a variety of food on sticks. Easily identified are salted fish but I am not sure whether the white things are marshmallows or mochi.

Next up we’re off to Kanmangafuchi Abyss to admire the line of statues of Jizo, a Bodhisattva who cares for the deceased.

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