Nikko Part 3 – Taiyuin Mausoleum

… continued from Nikko Part 2 – Toshogu Shrine.

Taiyuin is a given title for the third successive Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa.  Emperor Gokoumyou gave that designation to the mausoleum after the Iemitsu’s death. 

The concept of Taiyuin is different from Toshogu because Iemitsu hesitated to imitate the Toshogu Shrine.  The color of Toshogu Shrine is based on white and gold, and black framing, while Taiyuin is based on gold and black, and red framing.  Buildings of Taiyuin face Toshogu Shrine to indicate Iemitsu’s deep respect for Ieyasu.

Entrance fee is 550 yen.  This is another excellent shrine in Nikko and worth the visit.

The Nioumon Gate (The Deva Gate) is the first place, where you visit on the way of Taiyuin Mausoleum.  There are 8 pillars.  There are images of the Niou (the two Deva Kings – Misshaku-kongou and Naraen-kongou) and transparent carvings found on the transom.

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The Omizuya (Water House) has three pillars on the each corner made of granite.  The roof is copper-tiled, Kiritsuma style, with arched eaves.  A dragon is painted on the ceiling, with Indian ink, reflected on the water of the 120 cm wide basin.  So, it also is called “Mizukagamino-ryu” (dragon in the water mirror).

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Nitenmon Gate is the biggest gate in Nikko, located on the opposite side of Omizuya.  Two images of gods are enshrined in the front called Jikokuten and Koumokuten, which can be translated “Niten.”  Therefore, the Nitenmon is also known as the “Gate of Two Gods.”

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After passing through the Nitenmon Gate, the Shourou (Bell Tower) and Korou (Drum Tower) flank the Yashamon Gate, which is decorated by the arabesque pattern and arranged with design of peony.

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The Yashamon Gate enshrines four female devils.  Color of each body expresses the East, the West, the South and the North.

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The Koukamon Gate has a function as the border between Okunoin (Inner House) and other buildings. The Okunoin is not open to the public. It looks like the entrance of “Palace of Sea God” so it is also called Ryuugu-zukuri.

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Final part of Nikko sight-seeing is next …

2 thoughts on “Nikko Part 3 – Taiyuin Mausoleum

  1. Pingback: Nikko Part 4 « Konnichiwa

  2. Pingback: Paths | Konnichiwa

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