I recently visited the Toshogu Shrine located in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It was established in 1617 to enshrine Tokugawa Ieyasu (January 31, 1543 – June 1, 1616), the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868. Ieyasu was posthumously deified with the name Tosho Daigongen (東照大権現), the “Great Gongen, Light of the East”.

The shrine complex consists of more than a dozen buildings and the ones you see today were rebuilt in 1636 by the third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu and is surrounded by a magnificent forest. The shrine complex was registered as a World Heritage Site in December 1999.

You may have noticed that some pictures have some sort of construction going on, and that’s due to the Toshogu Shrine is being renovated in stages from 2007 until March 2024. It was a rather small influence on my visit and I would suggest checking out the Toshogu Shrine if you’re looking to enjoy cultural history.