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The second day in Nikko was one of the most special days I have experienced in Japan. Mr. Cakes and I woke up early to pack up our things and leave our bags with the front desk while we spent the day exploring.

We started at the path near the Shinkyoko Bridge heading towards the shrines and temples of Nikko which are deservingly listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rinnoji Temple surprised us for a few reasons. First off, a building has been built around the temple while preservation work is being done. It was so odd to see this tall warehouse in the middle of the woods. The central building of Rinnoji Temple is the Sanbutsu-doh Hall, or Three Buddhas. There was no photography allowed so the photo below is from a Nikko tourism website.

The Three Buddhas were quite amazing. The central one was receiving a facelift, but his blue hair could be seen. Once we walked out we felt like we stepped into another world. The Sohrintoh Tower is located behind Sanbutsu-doh Hall. This piece is 13.2m high and made of bronze. As you can see below, our view seemed surreal.

Toshogu Shrine contain many beautiful landmarks and buildings. Some of our favorites were the ‘Story of Three Monkeys’, the Karadou-torii which was the first bronze Torii in Japan, and one of many remarkable trees – the Kouyamaki which is estimated to be over 360 years old and stands with a 3 meter diameter. In addition the Five Storied Pagoda which is close to the entrance,was built in 650, but was burned down in 1815, then rebuilt in 1818 and stands at 36 meters high.

There were so many details to take in at each temple and shrine. It is impossible to share everything. I hope you get an idea of how special Nikko is. I’ll let the pictures, taken by Mr. Cakes do the rest of the talking! Enjoy!

By 4pm the fog was starting to roll back through so Mr. Cakes and I knew it was time to leave Nikko and head back to Tokyo. If circumstances were different we would have stayed for 2 more days. But all things considered we felt pretty lucky to have had those two days together in the cool mountain air!

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