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Shrines and Temples of Nikkō

Coordinates: 36°45′23″N 139°35′58″E / 36.7565°N 139.5994°E / 36.7565; 139.5994
This article is about a World Heritage Site
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Shrines and Temples of Nikko
UNESCO World Heritage Site
LocationNikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Kantō region, Japan
CriteriaCultural: (i), (iv), (vi)
Inscription1999 (23rd Session)
Area50.8 ha (126 acres)
Buffer zone373.2 ha (922 acres)
Coordinates36°45′23″N 139°35′58″E / 36.7565°N 139.5994°E / 36.7565; 139.5994

Shrines and Temples of Nikkō (日光の社寺) is the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nikkō in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.[1]

The site covers 103 buildings or structures and the natural area around them. Two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple are included in the site.

History[change | change source]

The area of Nikko has been a Shinto forest since pre-historic times. It has had Buddhist temples since the 9th century. Thousands of Japanese cedars were planted in the early 17th century[2]

The shrines and temples of Nikkō are closely related to the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns.[2]

In 1871, the Shinto areas and Buddhist areas were separated. Three sites were identified -- two Shinto shrine complexes and one Buddhist temple complex.[2]

After the "Law on the Preservation of Shrines and Temples" in 1897, Nikkō was protected by the Japanese government.[2]

Nikkō's shrines and temples were named a World Heritage Site in 1999.[1]

  • At the Rinnō Temple (輪王寺, Rinnō-ji), many buildings were mentioned in the World Heritage Site nomination process. There are 37 "Important Cultural Properties". One sub-temple complex made up of the Honden and Haiden of the Taiyuin Mausoleum is a registered "National Treasure of Japan".[2]

In 2012, the World Heritage Site covers nine National Treasures of Japan and many "Important Cultural Properties".[3]

Gallery[change | change source]

Many gates and buildings at Nikkō have very detailed carvings. The use of color is based on records dating back to 1753. The very precise descriptions of the architectural structures and the decorative works are used by experts who want to preserve history at Nikkō.[2]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 UNESCO, "Shrines and Temples of Nikkō"; retrieved 2012-4-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), "Advisory Body Evaluation"; September 1999; retrieved 2012-4-23.
  3. City of Nikko, "Summary of "shrines and temples of Nikko"[permanent dead link]; retrieved 2012-4-23.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Nikko at Wikimedia Commons