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Taiyuin (Q@, Taiyūin) is the mausoleum of the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, the grandson of Ieyasu. Iemitsu's lavish mausoleum complex resembles nearby Toshogu Shrine in its layout and architecture, but it was intentionally built somewhat more modest than the Toshogu due to Iemitsu's deep respect for his grandfather. Taiyuin is the posthumous name of Iemitsu.

Like the Toshogu, the Taiyuin features a mix of Buddhist and Shinto structures. It was common for places of worship to contain elements of both religions until the Meiji Period when Shinto was deliberately separated from Buddhism. Across the country, Buddhist elements were removed from shrines and vice versa, but at Taiyuin the separation was not carried out completely. While Toshogu was officially made a shrine, the Taiyuin became a subtemple of nearby Rinnoji Temple.

A short walk west of Toshogu Shrine takes visitors to the vermillion Niomon Gate, the entrance to the Taiyuin. Proceeding on leads to the more lavishly decorated Nitenmon Gate which is guarded by two heavenly kings, followed by two beautiful structures - a drum tower on the left and a belfry on the right.

Arriving at the Karamon Gate which stands majestically in front of the praying hall (haiden), look out for the famous sculpture of a white dragon that embellishes the transom of the gate. Visitors are allowed to enter the haiden and see its lovely interior decor featuring precious ornaments, an elegant coffered ceiling, nice carvings and gold lacquered pillars and walls.

The main hall (honden) is located just behind the haiden but can only be viewed from the outside. The two halls are connected by a short corridor and the structures combined have a slightly subtle yet grand-looking facade. Next to the halls at the innermost precincts is Tokugawa Iemitsu's mausoleum, which lends a composed and dignified charm to the temple.

Getting there and around

Taiyuin stands about 200 meters west of Toshogu, a 30-40 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride (350 yen one way, 600 yen day pass, covered by the Nikko Passes) from Tobu and JR Nikko stations.

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    • Stay Nikko Guesthouse
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    • Midorian
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      Featuring a garden, Midorian is located within Nikko National Park. The property is around 1.5 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, 8 km from Kegon Falls and a 16-minute walk from Futarasan Shrine. The guest house features mountain views, a terrace, and free WiFi is available throughout the property. On-site parking is available free of charge. Guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. A shared kitchen comes with a microwave, a toaster and a fridge. At Midorian, every room comes with a shared bathroom with a hair dryer. Cycling and hiking are among the activities that guests of the accommodation can find nearby. Rinnoji Temple is 1.6 km from Midorian.
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    • Okunikko Guesthouse JUN
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      Featuring 1-star accommodation, Okunikko Guesthouse JUN is located in Nikko, 1.1 km from Kegon Falls and 16 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Tobu Nikko Station is 17 km away and Nikko Station is 18 km from the guest house. Chuzenji Lake is 2.3 km from the guest house, while Ryuzu Waterfall is 4.8 km away. The nearest airport is Ibaraki Airport, 133 km from Okunikko Guesthouse JUN.
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    • sumica apartments
      Budget-friendly
      Sumica apartmens offers accommodation in Nikko, 900 metres from Nikko Toshogu Shrine and 9.3 km from Kegon Falls. The property features views of the city and is 18 km from Nikko Yumoto Hot Spring. The accommodation is only a 2-minute stroll to Shinkyo Bridge, known as the entrance to the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The kitchenette is fitted with a microwave. Towels and bed linen are offered at sumica apartmens. Nikk?-kokuritsu-k?en is 22 km from sumica apartmens, while Rinnoji Temple is 600 metres from the property.
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    • Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage
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      Homely rooms with mountain views, free Wi-Fi and a private bath await guests at Villa Revage, 350 metres from Nikko Botanical Garden. It is completely non-smoking, and free private parking is available on site. Rooms at Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage are heated and come with simple furnishings and art on the walls. An LCD satellite TV is included. Both a hairdryer and toiletries are provided. You can relax on the sun terrace, enjoy the garden or unwind in one of the private reservable baths. A Western breakfast is served at the dining room, which boasts a high ceiling and forest views. The hotel is 4 km from JR Nikko Train Station and Tobu Nikko Train Station. Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa is 800 metres away, and Nikko Toshogu Shrine is 2 km away.
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    • Nikko Guesthouse Sumica
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      Just a 3-minute walk from JR Nikko Train Station, Guesthouse Sumica offers beds in dormitory rooms, as well as Japanese-style private rooms. It features a shared kitchen and free tea and coffee. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the whole building. The Sumica Guesthouse is a 5-minute drive from the Nikko Tosho-gu shrine, and a 30-minute drive from both Lake Chuzenji-ko and historical theme park village Edo Wonderland (Nikko Edomura). JR Nikko Train Station is a 3-minute walk away. Nikko Guesthouse Sumica is a completely non-smoking hotel. It offers luggage storage, and it has a curfew at 23:00.
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      Set in Nikko, 1.6 km from Tobu Nikko Station, Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko offers accommodation with a shared lounge, free private parking and a terrace. The 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 2 km from Nikko Station. All guest rooms at the hotel come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a safety deposit box. Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko can conveniently provide information at the reception to help guests to get around the area. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is 2.4 km from the accommodation, while Kegon Falls is 20 km from the property. The nearest airport is Ibaraki Airport, 119 km from Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko.
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      Situated next to Lake Chuzenji, Hatago Nagomi is renovated in August 2017. The hotel features a restaurant, bar and free WiFi throughout the property. Free private parking is available on site. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV and lake views. Rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a bath and hairdryer. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. Some rooms includes a balcony. You will find a shared bath with natural free-flowing hot spring water at the property. Hatago Nagomi provides a buffet breakfast, and guests can sample kaiseki mutli-course dinner or made with local produce. A la carte dinner can be requested on site. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. The area is popular for fishing, hiking and mountain climbing.
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