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Posts tagged toshogu

Toshogu Cedars

If the Japanese Cedars (杉) aren’t mighty enough for you in and around Toshogu in Nikko then toss in some impressive structures and stone lanterns for some serious solidness.

First Shogun’s Grave

Here lies Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. He began the Edo Period, which lasted for over 260 years, and moved the capital of Japan to Tokyo (Edo) where it has remained ever since.

My first trip to Toshogu in Nikko didn’t include a visit to his grave as it isn’t in the “regular” part of the shrine. My Toshogu pass on my second visit did include admission to his tomb. The stairs leading to Ieyasu’s grave includes this fantastic view.

Radiation (or not) in Nikko

Nikko, Japan is about halfway between Tokyo and Fukushima (home of the now infamous nuclear power plant). I’ve already mentioned how radiation levels in Tokyo haven’t changed much since March’s earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Sendai. But what about Nikko?

Nikko is in Tochigi Prefecture which borders Fukushima Prefecture. Tochigi Prefecture has seven Geiger counters set up with frequent updates of radiation counts. You can find them here. As of April 26, 2011, the top reading is .19 microsievert per hour and the average of the seven readings around the prefecture is .08 microsievert per hour. So is that good news or bad news? I guess that depends on who you are. If you are the media trying to scare people, it is very bad news indeed. Perhaps that’s why the media isn’t mentioning actual radiation readings in Japan.

You’ll get more radiation in most places in the USA (especially if you live at a high altitude, which is still quite a safe thing to do) than you will traveling in Japan right now, even to places fairly close to Fukushima. (In the USA, the average for Americans is more than 3X this number. Due to large amounts of thorium in the soil, places in Brazil and India can average more than 3 microsieverts an hour.)

Today’s photo is Toshogu in Nikko. If it wasn’t for all the radiation I would get by flying on a jet to Japan, I’d go back to Nikko for spring break. Just kidding. It wouldn’t be the radiation from flying (which would be far more than the radiation I would get on the ground in Japan) that would keep me from visiting Japan. I actually checked flight prices and they weren’t good. The foreigners “escaping” Japan are keeping round-trip ticket prices high right now. Ironically, people leaving Japan are taking on more radiation on those flights out of Japan than they would be by staying.

Snowy Toshogu

My random, desktop image of the day is this photo from Toshogu in Nikko. I took this picture this past February. Although this building looks rather splendid, especially in the snow, it’s actually a mere storeroom.

Approaching Toshogu in May

nikko japan

The approach to Toshogu in May is quite a contrast to how it looked in February on a snowy day–lush, lush, lush green as opposed to the frozen, white winter. Even though they are polar opposites, it’s hard not to like them both.

Toshogu Shrine (東照宮)


What a difference three months can make! On my second trip to Nikko, Toshogu looked quite different from that snowy day in February. Now I need an excuse to come back to Japan and see Nikko in the fall. Hmmmmmm…..