Nikko (120 kilometers
north of Tokyo)was founded in the 8th century by the Buddhist priest Shodo,
it is home of Nikko National Park and 103 historic buildings and architectural
wonders including Taiyun-Byo Shrine which is set in a beautiful cedar forest
location and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the 8th century, the Buddhist
priest Shodo Shonin founded the first temple at Nikko on his way to Mount
Nantai. The village became a renowned Buddhist-Shinto religious centre,
leading the renowned warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu to choose it as the site for
His grandson, Togugawa Iemitsu,
had his shrine-mausoleum, Tosho-gu built in 1634, ensuring it would impress
on any rivals the might of the Tokugawa clan. Iemitsu's own mausoleum,
Taiyun-byo, is also located in Nikko, in a sublime setting of Japanese
cedars. These shrines and temples make it a popular destination for travellers.
The Taiyun-byo Shrine, completed in 1653, is Tokugawa Iemitsu's mausoleum.
Several ornate gates ascend to the sanctuary (Haiden) and inner sanctuary
(Honden). The shogun's ashes are beyond the final, sixth gate.