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The Shrines and Temples of Nikko

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The Shrines and Temples of Nikko

The Shrines and Temples of Nikko

The Shrines and Temples of Nikko refer to the area’s 103 religious buildings and its surrounding natural setting. The temples were first founded around the 8th century by Priest Shodo, a follower of mountain Buddhism. They are considered sacred for its preservation of religious practices. The structures are also closely associated with Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), a symbolic figure during a prominent chapter of Japanese history. This combination of important history and harmonious integration of structure and natural scenery dictate a universal value. The Shrines and Temples of Nikko were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

The whole property area encompasses 23 buildings of Futarasan-jinja Shrine, 42 buildings of Toshogu Shrine, and 38 buildings of Rinnô-ji Temple. Together with their natural surroundings, the structures are all artistically integrated with each other, demonstrating a sacred and high level of achievement. Although the sites have suffered from natural disasters over the centuries, the buildings have always been faithfully restored using original plans, materials, and techniques. Visitors still visit the site today for its religious rituals and traditions, intact both physically and spiritually.