Touring Japan in 2002 was a life-long dream come true from working as a travel agent for American Orient Travel in San Francisco at age 21.
Nikko has been a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for centuries, and is famous for its shrines, mountain landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, wild monkeys and hiking trails.
Nikko lies at the foot of Mt. Nyoho in the western part of Tochigi, and it is known as the home of the Futarasan Shrine, the Tosho-gu Shrine and Rinno-ji Temple. It is also home to the Nikko-suginamiki-kaido (Nikko Japanese Cedar-Lined Road) which has been designated as a natural monument, and it is included as part of the Nikko National Park.
The Tosho-gu Shrine is where the famous shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined. The shrine achieved its current state of elaborate luxuriousness when Ieyasu's grandson, shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, reconstructed it. The engravings on the Yomeimon Gate, redolent in their gorgeous colors, are particularly impressive, and the engravings of the three monkeys in Shinkyu-sha and Nemuri-neko, the sleeping cat, are also well known.
The images . . .
I mistakenly travelled with a new camera (a Canon Rebel) and new film (Fuji) without testing them substantially prior to leaving on our journey. After two months on the road, the film processing bill exceeded $1,500 and most images were poor. However, the journey was so special that the images are priceless to our family and someday will be used for painting studies.