The most important complex of temples and shrines from Nikko is presented on the maps with a visiting route and, after several experiences, I recommend you to use it. It takes a few hours at strolling speed, starting at the Rinno-ji Temple, then going to Toshougu, to Futarasan Shrine and finally to Taiyuin Mausoleum.
Each building has its own story and charm… And as you advance on the route, the stories and impressions keep coming, until the route ends… and since the end is always important, here’s a view of the last attraction: a superb Chinese Ming dynasty style gate called Koukamon. In the past, the role of this gate was to lead to the tomb of the Shogun Iemitsu - but today it is rarely used.
The impression? Like almost all other constructions here, the Koukamon Gate is a real architectural jewel, small (2.2 meters tall and 1.8 meters wide) but unforgettable, with vivid colors and a surprisingly shiny white arch - interestingly, the builders took great care to create that contrasting white, by using a special mix of pigments and lead oxide…
Koukamon Gate, Taiyuin Mausoleum, Nikko
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: World’s tallest statue of Confucius