Nikko’s Takino-o Shrine

In Search of Shodo Shonin

Donny Kimball
8 min readNov 13, 2017

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The stone steps of Nikko’s Takino-o Path in Tochigi Prefecture

This week, we are traveling back in time to follow the footsteps of Nikko’s founder, the Buddhist saint Shodo Shonin. Unfortunately, the vast majority of travelers to Nikko gloss over this hidden narrative and instead make a beeline for the ornate Toshogu Shrine. While this eternal monument to Tokugawa Ieyasu is indeed impressive, Nikko’s roots predate the shogunate by nearly…

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Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media. https://donnykimball.com/