Temizuya is a fountain located near the entrance of the Shinto shrines, used by visitors to cleanse their hands and mouths when entering the sacred area.
At large shrines, the temizuya is often built as a decorated pavilion, and the one from the Rinnō-ji Taiyuin Mausoleum in Nikko is the most beautiful construction of this type I have encountered until now.
Located near the Nitenmon gate, the Rinnō-ji Taiyuin Temizuya is lavishly decorated with exquisite sculptures and features a roof built in a style called Kiritsuma, sustained by 12 granite pillars. Inside, on the ceiling, there is a big painting of a dragon, made by Kano Yasunobu, a member of one of the most famous schools of Japanese painting, Kanō-ha.
The dragon’s image is reflected on the water surface, hence the name: Mizukagamino-ryu, the Dragon in the water mirror:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: