sights / Religious

Taiyūin-byō information

Nikkō , Japan
adult/child ¥550/250
Opening hours
8am-4.30pm Apr-Oct, 8am-3.30pm Nov-Mar
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Ieyasu's grandson Iemitsu (1604–51) is buried here and although it houses many of the same elements as Tōshō-gū (storehouses, drum tower, Chinese-style gates etc), the more intimate scale and setting in a cryptomeria forest make it very appealing.

Look for dozens of lanterns donated by daimyō (domain lords), and the gate Niō-mon, whose guardian deities have a hand up (to welcome those with pure hearts) and a hand down (to suppress those with impure hearts).

Inside the main hall, 140 dragons painted on the ceiling are said to carry prayers to the heavens; those holding pearls are on their way up, and those without are returning to gather more prayers.