Japan: Nikkō, Kanman Path I(憾満の路)


Kanman no Michi, or the Path of Regrets.

This day, was supposed to be the highlight of Nikkō, the World Heritage site. Looking at the pictures from websites, the temples didn't seem too inviting... Well, at least I had to go and do what a tourist should do, look at the real "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil", the famous monkey trio.

I know it would get kinda boring after countless times of writing "I am amazed!!" but the fact is, I really couldn't stop myself from being amazed. Japan seemingly have all the places that I would like to visit. Hence, I couldn't stop myself from being awe-struck...

The walk into the touristy temple areas or the UNESCO site, started from Shinkyō(二荒山神社神橋)of the Futarasan-jinja. Walking in this area, I have to say that the Japanese are really good in preserving the mood and atmosphere. We all should learn from them on how to preserve a UNESCO site, a total contrast to what the Malaysian government did on Malacca when Malacca was declared a UNESCO too...

For the first temple which was still under renovation, the Rinnō-ji Sanbutsu-dō(輪王寺三仏堂). Nothing too impressive as most were under renovation and the photo-taking was not allowed inside the temple. As implied by the name of the temple, there are three statues Buddha inside.

Then the next one, the most famous icon of Nikkō, the Tōshōgu(東照宮)glittered in the summer morning. Of course, the most crowded temple.


Golden frames, rich details, the most iconic gate with so many ornamentation on it.

Details of the 陽明門

三猿 (Sanzaru, the three wise monkeys):見ざる(Mizaru) 言わざる(Iwazaru) 聞かざる(Kikazaru)


Things I like most about heritage area of Japan, the structures are maintained the way so naturally that they look like they had been found only recently and not "over-polished". The moss on the lanterns(石燈籠) found throughout Nikkō is the best example.


Moving on to the next temple along this walk way covered by Sugi and other large trees.


And I arrived at Futarasan-jinja(二荒山神社). The temple that worships the Mount Nantai, which is a go-shintai(御神体)that plays an important role in this region and the Shinto religion. Seems like the locals were doing some prayers for hiking trails going up to the mountain.


The Sacred Trees

Then continuing to the last temple that my temple passes can bring me to. Passing by a secret garden that was off-limit to visitors.

Peep into a secret garden

Finally the Taiyū-in Reibyō(大猶院霊廟)where the mausoleum of Tokugawa Iemitsu(徳川家光)is. It is truly built for Zen. I could stay here watch the world beneath revolves itself.


Bell tower of Taiyuin

Actually the link below is a good site to read and understand about the temple complex of Nikkō. I seriously don't think that Nikkō is a place for old folks like what many others told me!
UNESCO - Shrines and Temples of Nikko

After all the temples, I took a lunch break and there's Part II of the Kanman Path!


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