Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trip to Nikkou -2-

I said I went to an area in Tochigi prefecture called Nikkou, and another must-see place is this "Toushouguu". It is a place where the first Tokugawa warlord "Ieyasu Tokugawa" was enshrined. He lived up to age 75, and since then he's rested in peace here.

 There were so many sightseers in front of that gate called "Torii". It was warm on this day, and the high should have been around 15 Celsius degrees.

A plaza where people take pics in front of these traditional buildings. The multiple-fold tower you can see is "Gojyuu No Tou", or a five-fold tower. It was burned down a few hundred years ago, but got reconstructed in 1818.

 I hadn't expected to see this, but you could have taken a ride on this horse. An adult would have had to pay 1,000 yen for a ride.

 This is one of the renowned artifacts in Nikkou. The left monkeys are called "Kikazaru", and the right ones "Mizaru", meaning "never listen", and "never see" respectively. Those monkeys suggest children not "listen to" or "see" bad things and grow up healthily. "Zaru" means "monkey" and "never", a kind of wordplay.  

 I introduced a place where you're supposed to clean your mouth and hands before saying prayer. The ones I showed you before weren't so flashy as this, but almost all the buildings here have gold color on them.

 The main gate called "Youmei Mon". It is said you'd never get tired of looking at this gate until the sun sets, so it has an alias, "The gate of dusk".

 And there were these dragon relieves on the gate.

 This cat is called "The sleeping cat", and in order to see this cat you have to pay more money in addition to the admission fee. The cat is basking in the sunshine, and "Nikkou" means "the sunshine" too. This cat was made by "Jingorou Hidari".

 After seeing the cat you can go up these stairs to see something more. I was almost losing my breath while scaling this stairs .

 But after going up the stairs, all I could see was this tomb. Honestly I wasn't so impressed.

 Do you remember I showed you this wooden plate called "Ema"? You can write down your wish on this "sleeping cat" Ema, and your wish may come true

-to be continued-