Reporting back on Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture’s stunning autumn leaves!
When I heard that Nikko’s autumn leaves were in their prime, I knew I had to go! The leaves colouring the banks of the Daiyagawa River with the Shinkyo Bridge (an Important Cultural Asset) crossing majestically above was quite a sight.
The Futarasan-Jinja Shrine was established way back in 767. It is said that paying the shrine a visit will bless you with finding your soulmate. I wonder if I too shall be blessed!?
I then headed to the Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
The path leading to the mausoleum where Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate, is enshrined is the location of the famous gate with a carving of a nemuri-neko (sleeping cat). Mystery still surrounds the reason why a sleeping cat was carved on the entrance to such an important figure's final resting place. Perhaps it was meant to be ready to jump up and protect him in a moment's notice, or perhaps it was a symbol of the peaceful period they were blessed with. What do you think?
To get to Tokugawa Ieyasu’s mausoleum you'll have to climb 207 stairs, but it’s well worth it.
Before you leave, make sure to visit the Nikko Kaido Suginamikimichi (Nikko Road Cedar Path); it is recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest tree-lined road in the world.
I ended up at a small park along the path of cedars. The scenery was invigorating.
Nikko is about 2 hours from Tokyo via Tobu Railway's special express from Asakusa Station. Come check it out sometime!
Photographed on: October 30, 2016