Rinnō-ji temple complext and the Taiyū-in Reibyō mausoleum

This morning we drove down to do our day of temple viewing at Rinnō-ji. This is a complex of 15 temples with the 1st one founded in 766, and at one point over 500 temples belonged to this complex!

We didn’t realise you could drive up to the temple so we parked close to the Shinkyo (sacred bridge) and walked from there. The bridge is made of red lacquered wood and spans the Daiya River.
Legend says that a hermit was carried across the river at this point by 2 serpents.


And although a gorgeous structure I was more intrigued by what was under the bridge.

The pillars of the bridge seem to be hewn out of one block of stone, quite impressive!

And somehow this rock under it made me think of a sitting man, with a long beard seen from behind, slightly to the side. Wonder if anyone else sees that in the rock?

anyways, after pushing The Smurg up a steep slope in her pram (and losing my cool and composed look due to the terrible humidity) we arrived at the temples.

Imagine my surprise when the world-famous Sanbutsudō (three Buddha hall) is a very modern corrugated iron structure with a paining of a temple on it!

The temple does exists, within it. We couldn’t get any answer is it lives within this structure due to the extensive restoration works being done for some time, or if this is permanent to protect it from the environment.
This hall is named the 3 Buddha hall, due to the 3 (who would have guessed!) gold leaf statues of Buddha within.
No pictures as photography here is strictly forbidden and guards watch your every move.

Then we moved onto the Taiyū-in Reibyō mausoleum. This is something different. I wasn’t prepared for the visual overload this place gives you. It’s impressive, and a little too much.
This son, and later grandson build and extended this shrine, to the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868).
Most of these buildings, and those of the temple are UNESCO World Heritage sites. See here for some more info.

And all of us know about this temple, because all of us have seen and heard of the “speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil” monkeys, and they originate here.

So a few photos for you or this incredible piece of art.
Map of the mausoleum

Detail of gate, love how the elephant looks

Store house

Stable for the sacred horses. See the monkey wood carvings

The famous 3 monkeys

Eaves of another building

Roofed cloisters

Gate in the roofed wall that encloses the Honden (main shrine hall)

And when all is said and done, this is the actual monument on the grave of the famous Shogun

As you can see an overpowering presence of colors, gold, carvings, inlays, buildings, lanterns and what not.

Once we saw this I had such an overload that we decided to go for a quiet trip up the mountains and leave the temples be. They have been there for hundreds of years and I am sure when we return to Japan they will still be there

Later more about our trip to the Onsen temple, the source of Nikko’s Onsen and a scary encounter with bears

The photoalbum has more pictures, and if you go HERE, there is some others


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