Nikko – Kanman Walk

One of my favourite places in Japan is Nikko, easily accessable an hour to the north of Tokyo in Gunma Prefecture. Its main attraction is the Toshogu Shrine. This is the final resting-place of Tokugawa Ieyasu who finally united Japan and began the 260-year Edo period, and Tokugawa Iemitsu, who instituted the sakoku national isolation policy. Just around the corner from this, however, is a little-known walking trail called the Kanman Walk, that takes you past some mysterious Jizo statues said to be uncountable.

First, cross over the main bridge for Toshogu but turn left:

 After that, the path runs beside the river into a small gorge dramatically called the Kanmangafuchi Abyss:

Crossing the river again, you come to a small park with an inscription of a poem by the mad Emperor Taisho:

Sleeves were wet by the spray at the river of Daiya.

Cold moonlight night comes over the shore.

This leads into a small path lined with the Jizo statues: