World heritage "Nikko Toshogu"

 Nikko's shrines and temples, also known as power spots, are a collection of temples and shrines, including Nikko Toshogu, Rinnoji, and Futarasan Shrine. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1999 and is one of Japan's leading tourist destinations visited by many people. Introducing a little information and tips on such shrines and temples in Nikko!

Have you ever written a request to a votive tablet?

Nikko Futarasan Shrine, which is also famous as a matchmaking shrine, has a slightly unusual votive tablet.

What a heart votive tablet!

This votive tablet with a cute pink heart is very popular with women and couples for praying for good luck and fulfilling romance.

Speaking of hearts, please take a closer look at the Shinto gate, which you can see through the couple cedars. You should find a heart-shaped hole under the roof. Wouldn't it be strange to see a heart design in a historic shrine? Actually, it has roles such as kore, fire protection and ventilation holes.

In addition, you can meet the heart in various places, such as the heart-shaped tree that holds the fortune-telling, and the heart stones.

How about going around the hearts at Futarasan Shrine?

Animal Shrine: Animals at Nikko Toshogu Shrine

If you visit Nikko Toshogu, you can see various animals. It's the animals carved in the building! They do not move, but they entertain our eyes with unique facial expressions and poses.

The most famous is the "three wise monkeys". Many of you know the saying, "I don't see, I don't say, I don't hear." Literally, the appearance of the three monkeys blocking their ears, mouth and eyes is somewhat charming, and you can feel the humor as if the monkeys were playing a comedy.

And "sleeping cat" is also a famous animal sculpture. Cat sculptures are not uncommon for temples and shrines, but the only sleeping cats are the sleeping cats at Toshogu.

But if you look closely, you can see that the front legs are firmly stretched. Actually, it is carved near the grave of this cat, Ieyasu. In other words, even if I pretend to be asleep, I am always preparing to fly to protect Ieyasu.

Secretly popular power spot Kanosugi of Toshogu

Do you have a wish that you want to fulfill?

When you visit Nikko Toshogu, please make a wish to "Kanosugi".

The 600-year-old Kanosugi is located in the inner shrine of Toshogu. Even if you go to Toshogu, few people go to Okumiya. Because you can't get there without climbing the 207 long stairs!

Kanosugi, which stands out against the magnificent treasure tower, is one of the most powerful spots in Nikko. It is said that if you pray to the dust of a hollow tree, your wish will come true.

It's worth climbing the long stairs. Why don't you try Kanosugi, your wish?

Does the zodiac of the five-storied pagoda start from the tiger?

One of the highlights of Nikko Toshogu is the "five-storied pagoda".

The wall of the first layer of this five-storied pagoda is carved with twelve zodiac signs so as to go around the pagoda. The animals, starting from the front right, line up around the tower counterclockwise, but in a slightly different order.

Speaking of the zodiac, the order is child → ox → tiger → rabbit ... right?

Mysteriously, the zodiac of the five-storied pagoda starts with a tiger like a tiger → a rabbit → a dragon → a snake.

According to one theory, Ieyasu Tokugawa was "Tora", Hidetada was "Ura", Iemitsu was "Tatsu", and the zodiac signs of the three shoguns were lined up by chance. It is said that it was carved in that way.

When you turn your foot to the five-storied pagoda, be sure to go around and see the twelve zodiac signs lined up in each of the north, south, east and west.

For souvenirs from Nikko, "Fried Yuba Manju"

Specialty souvenirs are sold at each of the tourist spots in Japan.

There are some shrines and temples in Nikko that are perfect as souvenirs and can only be bought here.

It is Sakaeya's "Fried Yuba Manju".

This Japanese sweet is crispy fried with a unique batter on Yuba Manju, which is kneaded with Nikko's specialty Yuba and high-quality soy milk. When you chew on the salty, crispy batter, the soy milk-flavored chewy dough and handmade bean paste come out, and the gentle sweetness and fragrance spread throughout your mouth.

Fried Yuba Manju is a very popular product that has been introduced in many media and blogs and sells 3000 pieces a day. It is a recommended dish for sightseeing in Nikko and as a souvenir for your family and friends.