Hidden emoji at Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Planning to travel to Nikko? Make sure you add this location to your itinerary. Visit the World’s Heritage site, “Nikko Toshogu Shrine”.

Monkey emojis in real life

“A monkey covering its eyes, a monkey covering its ears, a monkey covering its mouth.”

Do you recall these? Yes, they are the monkey emoji icons that you often see on SNS. “Three monkeys” is also a famous symbol recognized widely for “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil”, and the statues of three monkeys covering its eyes, ears and mouth are present at Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine is located in Nikko city, Tochigi prefecture which is in the northern part of Tokyo. A direct train runs from Tokyo Asakusa (40-60 minutes by train/bus from Haneda Airport) to Tobu Nikko station, the nearest station to the shrine. The entire trip from Tokyo will take around 2.5 hours.

There are other popular tourist destinations in Nikko as well such as Kinugawa Onsen, which is also close by the shrine.

Honoring great samurais that ended the war

Japan was pretty much involved in war until about 400 years ago. Ieyasu Tokugawa was a samurai that officiated peace and prosperity in Japan and this shrine served as his base to begin reforming Japan.

Enter through the red gates

As you arrive at the shrine, you’ll stop by this red gate. Take a look at statues on both sides of the gate. There are two Buddhist god statues on both sides, blocking the bad entering the shrine.

Pay attention to the exterior decoration

When you’re at Nikko Toshogu Shrine, pay attention to the exterior decoration. It is mostly red and gold, therefore eye-catching to an extent. The building is surrounded by nature, the exquisite balance of flashy colours and calm nature makes a perfect atmosphere.

Nikko Toshogu Shine had faced a large scale renovation about twenty years after it was built for the first time. At that time, Ieyasu Tokugawa followed the means of showing the prestige of the Tokugawa family who had overturned Japan to a positive appearance.

Find the "three monkeys"

In Japan, monkeys are considered as animals that protect horses. If you are looking for three monkeys, try looking for places that are related to horses. For example, at the stable where there’s a statue of a god riding a horse…

Three monkeys sculpture at Nikko Toshogu Shrine

The three monkey sculptures at the shrine are said to be a symbol that represents a teaching that children shouldn’t be seeing bad things, hearing bad things and saying bad things.

There are actually more than three monkeys in this shrine and all convey some sorts of meaning. For example, the small child monkey and the parents looking far away shows the appearance of parents who are considering the future of their children.

How many monkeys can you find in total at Nikko Toshogu Shrine?

Say hi to the monkeys at Nikko Toshogu Shrine!

If you go to Nikko Toshogu Shrine in your family, we recommend DeNA TRAVEL which makes it easy to find LCC tickets that match the schedule. Let’s go find the nice journey right now!

When you’re in Nikko, be sure to visit the three monkeys at Nikko Toshogu shrine. Find the best fare tickets with us. Bon voyage!