Shrines and Temples of Nikko
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The shrines and temples of Nikko, together with their natural surroundings, have for centuries been a sacred site known for its architectural and decorative masterpieces. They are closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns.
|Nikko is located in the Tochigi Prefecture, directly north
of Tokyo, along Japan's "Romantic Road".
The Nikko shrines and temples are a reflection of architectural and artistic genius; this aspect is reinforced by the harmonious integration of the buildings in a forest and a natural site laid out by man.
||Nikko is a small city at the entrance to Nikko National
Park. It is most famous for the Toshogu, Japan's most lavishly decorated
shrine complex and mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the
Nikko has been a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for many centuries.
| Nikko is a perfect illustration of the architectural style of
the Edo period as applied to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
The Gongen-zukuri style of the two mausoleums, the Tôshôgu and the Taiyû-in Reibyô, reached the peak of its expression in Nikko, and was later to exert a decisive influence. The ingenuity and creativity of its architects and decorators are revealed in an outstanding and distinguished manner.
The Nikko shrines and temples, together with their environment, are an outstanding example of a traditional Japanese religious centre, associated with the Shinto perception of the relationship of man with nature, in which mountains and forests have a sacred meaning and are objects of veneration, in a religious practice that is still very much alive today.
Sources and links:
Other World Heritage Sites in Japan (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Japan for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 21 jul 2006