Roadside Shinto Shrine, Nikko, Japan

japan nikko shinto shrine
The Shinto Shrine on the road outside Nikko. You find the most beautiful things in unexpected places in Japan.

We arrived in Nikko too late in the afternoon to take in the UNESCO World Heritage temples. So, we took a walk from our hotel up near the wooded sites where the temples are. At the end of a 16th Century bridge was this Shinto shrine tucked into a hillside right next to the highway. We were so busy looking at the river and the 17th Century Shinkyo Bridge on the other side of the road, we almost missed it. I have no idea when it was built, but it certainly has some age on it. From the messages pasted to the lintels, I would guess, however, that it's still getting good use today.

Although this shrine is outside the confines of the The Shrines and Temples of Nikko World Heritage site. It's still a lovely simple example of Shinto architecture. The Shrines and Temples of Nikko World Heritage site form a single complex composed of one hundred three religious buildings within two Shinto shrines (The Tôshôgû and The Futarasan-jinja) and one Buddhist temple (The Rinnô-ji) located in an outstanding natural setting.

You can see our post about the rest of the Nikko shrines and temples here.

The most famous Shinto shrine in Japan is at Itsukushima. Itsukushima is also a World Heritage site in Japan.

The best way to get around Japan is the Japan Rail Pass. Click on the link to check it out. You must buy Japan Rail Passes before you go to Japan. They're not available in Japan.

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