Among the many temples of the holy city of Nikko, Tosho-gu is recognised as the finest example of architectural virtuosity and freedom of expression in ornamentation. The 18C builders, aided by 15 000 craftsmen, excelled themselves. The five-storey pagoda is decorated with dazzlingly coloured animals of the zodiac. The Omote-mon gate brings together Buddhist deities and Shinto lions. The most astonishing work is the richly sculpted Yomei-mon gate (508). Don't miss the portable shrines, which require 55 people to bear them from place to place.
Address:Derrière le Rinno-ji Nikko
Apr-Oct: 8am-5pm; rest of year: 8am-4pm