Tosho-gu (Nikko part 2)

Tosho-gu housed the last shogun government in Japan between the 17th and 19th century, but today the temples and shrines here are a popular tourists destination. The town of Nikko itself seems to have lapsed somewhat since the region’s popularity swayed following the current emperor’s decision to separate Buddhism and Shintoism. However, the World Heritage…

Japan part 3 of 3: Nikko

Nikko THE TOWN OF NIKKO Nikko lies to the North of Tokyo, in the high country of Tochigi Prefecture. Here, saddled between Mt Nakimushi and the dominant Mt Nyoho, which forms an immense natural water catchment, lies the small town of Nikko and the Nikko Tosho-gu shrines. The town of Nikko is an interesting enough…

Japan Part 2 of 3: Kawaguchiko

  THE LAKE Kawaguchiko lies just over a hundred kilometres West of Tokyo, in south Yamanashi prefecture. The lake is around 800 metres above sea level, and has no natural outlet, which meant the area flooded frequently before a canal was completed in the early twentieth century.   AGRICULTURE AND CULTURE Leaving the hostel, I…

Japan 1 of 3: Tokyo

  NEW-WORLD/OLD-WORLD I like to imagine a city like Tokyo as a Rubik’s cube. On each side you have contrasting colours of culture and influence. One side might be technology, another might be ancient teachings. Two sides are definitely old-world culture and new-world culture. When you walk around any block in Tokyo, this Rubik’s cube…