Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nikko is Kekko

Before it got cold (and before we got so busy traveling that I forgot to finish this post) Nick and I took a mini trip to Nikko to take in the beauty of Japan in the Fall.

We got there just before the leaves turned and fell...just in time to see GORGEOUS shades of reds, oranges and yellow leaves everywhere!

While on the Nikko tour we saw many shrines and temples. At the Toshogu Shrine there is a sacred horse stable, The Shinkyo, constructed in 1636 and remaining in its original condition. On the stable there are numerous carvings of monkeys. It is said that the monkeys would protect the horses from disease. One of the carvings is of the famous, "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil" poses of the 3 monkeys.

Love seeing the little Japanese kids dressed up for events in traditional wear.

At the begining of the tour we went to the Ryuzu Cascade. This is a waterfall between Lake Yunoko and Lake Chuzenjiko. The waterfall splits into two at the end, where it's said the rock where the waterfall splits looks like the head of a dragon, the waterfall it's ears....the waterfall is therefore named Ryuzu, meaning "Dragon Head".

The Toshogu Shrine...built in 1607 as the "mausoleum of the Tokugawa Ieyasu", was designed with skills of the highest level available at the time. Over 42 buildings on the property, it was a lot to see and take in. (Eight of which have been deemed National Treasures!)

Our tour guide told us prior to the tour (and many times throughout), "Nikko is Kekko". Kekko means: magnificent, excellent, good, and wonderful.....Our tour guide was telling us that Nikko is all those things. With such rich Autumn colors, I couldn't agree more!

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