May
15
2013
latest_post_box_edge

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

I continued my spring trip through Shizuoka Prefecture. After visiting Sunpu Castle in the morning, I went to Nihondaira to see Mt. Fuji and to Kunozan Toshogu Shrine.

smilie Visited: April 5th 2012 smilie

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

As probably everybody is doing the two sights, Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, together, I decided to also write about them in one blog post.

You can access from either side and start with either sight. I started with Nihondaira that day.

Access to Nihondaira:

Nihondaira (日本平) is located in Shizuoka Prefecture (map) and can be accessed by Shizutetsu Bus in 40 mins from Shizuoka Station or 15 mins from Higashi Shizuoka Station. From there you can walk around to enjoy the various views.

 

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Enjoying a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji:

From the summit observatory you can see Suruga Bay and the Izu Peninsula. On a clear day you can also see Mt. Fuji.
Although I went on a clear day, I couldn’t see Mt. Fuji at all. smilie

If you have a very close look at the photo above, you might be able to make it out. Below one of the clouds you can see Mt. Fuji’s snow-covered top. I was really disappointed because I came all the way and the weather was good, too! Yet I wasn’t allowed to enjoy the beauty of Mt. Fuji.
Apart from the observatory platform there’s also a golf course and a few restaurants.

 

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

After enjoying the view of Mt. Fuji – or not – most people move on to visit the National Treasure “Kunozan Toshogu Shrine“.

It can be easily accessed by a short 5 mins ropeway ride that connects the summits of Mt. Nihondaira and Mt. Kuno. A round-trip for an adult will cost 1000yen, one-way 550yen.

 

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Kunozan Toshogu Shrine – A national treasure

Toshogu Shrine on Mt. Kuno (久能山東照宮) is a very important national treasure as the body of the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) is entombed there.

It was built and maintained under the command of the second shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, Ieyasu’s son Hidetada, 19 years before the Great Nikko Toshogu Shrine was built. It’s the oldest Toshogu shrine in Japan!

 

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

When entering via the “Romon Gate” you’ll see warrior statues that protect the gate.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Ieyasu Tokugawa overcame all kinds of difficulties in his life which is why he’s respected as a deity for safety for the family, protection against danger, health and longevity as well as academic success. Thus people come here to pray for any of those.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

While the spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu is considered to be the primary deity, called Tosho-Daigongen (東照大権現), there are also secondary ones: the spirits of the famous lords Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) and Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) who were enshrined there after the start of the Meiji period.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Cherry blossoms were at full bloom at the shrine.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

There are a few smaller halls and buildings, but the main attraction and the most important one is the “Honden“, the main hall as you can see in the photo below.

 

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

The buildings were constructed in the style of Gongen architecture (Gongen-zukuri, 権現造) where the worship hall (Haiden) and the main hall (Honden) form the shape of an “H”.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Using techniques of the Momoyama Era, the buildings were decorated with extravagant wood carvings, gold leaf and colorful Japanese lacquer.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Here you can see a close-up of the wonderful wood carvings.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

About 50m behind the main hall, you’ll find the “Shinbyo” that contains his body.

Ieyasu’s grave was relocated to the Nikko Toshogu Shrine by the third shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, Iemitsu. However, a portion of Ieyasu’s deified spirit is considered to still reside on Mt. Kuno.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Here you see the ema (wooden wishing plaque) of the Toshogu Shrine.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Huge barrels of sake, most of them displaying Mt. Fuji.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Not pictured is the “Kunozan Toshogu Shrine Museum” that features about 2000 items, some of them are national treasures such as Ieyasu’s favorite glasses and a Spanish clock. Unfortunately photos weren’t allowed inside the museum.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

When you’re done sightseeing, the easiest and most scenic way back is to hike down to the foot of Mt. Kuno from where you can take a bus back to JR Shizuoka Station.

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Some people access the sights from here, but as you can see there are a lot of stairs and it’s a steep way up, so I recommend to start at Nihondaira instead and use this route for descending only!

Nihondaira and Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

Back down it can be a bit tricky to find the bus stop, so you might want to ask at the shrine before you leave the mountain!

 

T O U R I S T     I N F O R M A T I O N: Toshogu Shrine
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Oct – Mar: 9:00-16:00)
Holidays: no closing days
Entrance fee: 500 yen (shrine); 400 yen (museum); 800 yen (shrine and museum)
Time required: at least 1h – 1.5h (for Nihondaira and the shrine, transportation time not included)
TEL: (+81)054-237-2438
Website: http://www.shizuoka-cvb.or.jp/
Access: Access via Nihondaira by Shizutetsu Bus (40 mins from JR Shizuoka Sta. or 15 mins from JR Higashi Shizuoka Sta.
Access via the foot of Mt. Kuno (by bus and then hike up to the shrine).
Both sights are connected by the Nihondaira Ropeway (~ 5 mins)

Enjoyed this post?

Related Posts:


9 Comments

Leave a Comment

commentform_input_required

Free Newsletter

subscribe to newsletter

Blog Posts

Comments

Things To Check Out

Events in July: