Taiyuin belong to Rinnoji Temple. Nikkosan Rinnoji is the oldest temple in Nikko. It was established in 766 by Priest Shodo. It enshrines Mt. Nantai, and during Kamakura period, it became the greatest Shugendo place in entire Kanto Region. In Edo period, this place was chosen for the resting place of 1st Tokugawa Shogun Ieyasu and his grand son Iemitsu. Therefore, there are many beautiful buildings in this area.
Taiyuin is the grave and mausoleum of 3rd Shogun Iemitsu. In 1648, Iemitsu died at the age of 48. Iemitsu highly respected his grand father Ieyasu. He constructed many buildings at Toshogu Shrine, the grave of Ieyasu in 1636. He wished serves Ieyasu even after his own death. So, he ordered people to built his grave and mausoleum at south-west of Toshogu to protect the grave of Ieyasu.
He made a special order to make Taiyuin all less scale and beautiful than Toshogu. Therefore, the color scheme is very simple and based on black and gold. However, this turns out very rich architecture and arts.
There are 315 light towers that donated from all Daimyo of Japan.
There are 4 different gates at Taiyuin. Every after the each gate, it shows the different step to the heaven.
-Nio mon Gate-
-Niten mon gate-
-Yasha mon Gate-
There are 4 Yasha Statues and excellent Nikko Carving. There are many carving of Baku. Baku is the monster that eats bad dreams. Ieyasu was suffering bad dream all the time. So, he put Baku around him so that he does not have bad dreams.
-Kara mon gate-
-Yaiyuin Mausoleum of Iemitsu-
It is registered as the National Treasure of Japan. This building is one of only three golden temples in Japan.
-The gate of the grave of Iemitsu-
Official Web : http://www.rinnoji.or.jp/keidai/taiyuin/oku.html