#30 英語と写真でバーチャルツアー③~日光・東照宮~




Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a World Cultural Heritage Site, is a popular tourist destination.

shrineとtempleとchurchの違いは大丈夫ですか?World Cultural Heritage Site「世界文化遺産」。

This site is recommended for people who want to immerse in the history and culture of Japan while amidst nature.

immerse in ~「~にどっぷりと浸かる」。while (they are) amidst natureの省略。amidstはamongと同じ意味の前置詞。

Nikko Toshogu Shrine deifies Tokugwa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which lasted for more than 260 years in the Edo period.



Tokugawa Ieyasu greatly contributed to the development of modern Japan through his establishment of the Bakuhan feudal system.

Bakuhan feudal system「幕藩体制」。江戸幕府を中心として諸藩が全国を統治した日本の封建制を指す。

After Ieyasu's death at the age of 75, he was buried in Mt. Kuno in Shizuoka Prefecture, and later was reburied in Mt. Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture.



※境内の案内図は☞日光東照宮ホームページ|境内案内 (toshogu.jp)

■Five-story Pagoda(五重塔)


This five-story pagoda, designated as an important cultural asset, is best known for its towering height of 35 meters as well as for its red color and extravagant decorations.

ここのstoryはブログ#27で出てきたstoryと同じ。pagodaは東アジアに見られる宗教建築としての「塔」のこと。the five-story pagoda of Horyuji Templeと言えば「法隆寺五重塔」。important cultural asset「重要文化財」。towering「聳(そび)える」。

It was originally dedicated in 1650, but was destroyed by fire in 1815. 


It was rebuilt in 1818 using the construction method of the late Edo period and has the capacity to adjust to vibrations caused by earthquakes and the wind.

using ~ periodは分詞構文。

▲During the autumn season, you can marvel at the sight of its beauty as the red color of the five-story pagoda harmonizes with the red leaves.



The name “Shinkyusha” refers to a stable for sacred horses attending deities.




You see the eight monkey sculptures which are based on the old-fashioned faith that monkeys protect the health and safety of horses.


Among these statues, the Sanzaru, or the monkeys of "seeing, speaking, and listening", featuring three monkeys covering their ears, mouth, and eyes with their hands, are famous.

特に有名なのが「見猿・聞か猿・言わ猿」の三猿の彫刻。Sはthe Sanzaru、Vはare。



Yomeimon is regarded as the symbol of Toshogu Shrine.

With a towering height of 11 meters, the sight of its gorgeous appearance featuring 508 sculptures and gold leaves will surely take your breath away.


Its timeless beauty never ceases to astound people, which is why it's referred to as the "Higurashi-no-mon," which means a gate with captivating beauty.

astoundはsurpriseよりも意味が強い。refer to A as B「AをBと呼ぶ」。陽明門はいつまでも見飽きることのない美しさから「日暮の門」とも呼ばれる。


The Nemuri-neko is the second most popular sculpture next to Sanzaru.

As its name suggests, the sculpture is of a sleeping cat.



The sculpture is surprisingly small, so most people miss it.

Be sure to keep an eye for this sculpture.

keep an eye for ~のforは「追求」を表し、全体で「~を求めて視線を保つ」→「~を待ち構える、~を見逃さないように注意する」。たとえばI’m keeping an eye for the girl.だと、まだ姿を見せない少女がやって来たらすぐ気づけるように周囲を注意深く見ているということ。それに対してkeep an eye on ~だとonは「接触」を表すので、視線が「~」にじっと注がれているイメージ。I’m keeping an eye on the girl.なら、少女のことを(異常事態が起こったらすぐ対処できるように)注意深く見張っているというニュアンス。

■The Main Shrine(御本社)

Located in front of Yomeimon is the main shrine, the most important place in Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

倒置構文。通常の語順だとThe main shirine, ... Shrine, is located ... Yomeimon.

It consists of the inner sanctuary, the connecting stone pavement, and the hall of worship.

the inner sanctuary「本殿」。the connecting stone pavement「石の間」。the hall of worship「拝殿」。

The main shrine hosts several festivals throughout the year.

Unfortunately, taking pictures is not allowed here, but we can assure you that it's as gorgeous as the Yomeimon.


Its dazzling and intricate decorations are, without a doubt, national treasures.


■Tokugawa Ieyasu’s Tomb(徳川家康の墓)

To get to Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb, you have to pass through the Sakashitamon, where you can find the Nemuri-neko, and go through a long road and steps made of stone.



Along the way, you will see a sign bearing the following words from Tokugawa Ieyasu.

"The life of a person is like walking on a long road bearing heavy luggage ― never rush."

Once you get to the summit, the sight of the rear shrine’s hall of worship will greet you.

Onceは接続詞。rear shrine「奥宮(おくみや)」。


Proceed further and you will find Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb and the rear shrine's two-story tower.

This dignified structure rests on five octagonal stone steps and three octagonal bronze steps.

structure「建造物」。rest on ~「~の上に載っている」。octagonal「8角形の」のoct-は「8」の意味であることはブログ#22で説明しました。

It exudes an unexplainable solemn atmosphere.


As you walk around the tower, you will find a 600-year-old cedar called “Kanae-sugi”.


Rumor has it that your wishes will come true if you recite them as you approach the small shrine, so be sure to drop by here.

itはthat以下を指す形式目的語。Rumor has it that ~「噂では~だということだ」。recite「口で唱える」。asはさっきと同じで「~する時」。上の写真には「ほこらに向って」という表現があり、この英文を書いた人はこれをapproach the small shrineと英訳したと思われますが、おそらくこの「向って」は「今からそちらに向かいます」のような「移動」を表す用法ではなく、「ピアノに向かう」のような「顔をある方向に向ける」という意味だと思います。なので、if you recite them facing the small shrineのように書く方がいいかもしれません。drop by ~「~に立ち寄る」。

■Yakushido/Crying Dragon(薬師堂/鳴き龍)

You can find the Yakushido (Honchido) on the left side of the Yomeimon.

It is located within the Toshogu Shrine, but the temple is under the jurisdiction of the Rinnoji Temple.

under the jurisdiction of ~「~の管轄内で」。the Rinnoji Temple「輪王寺」は、東照宮と同時に世界文化遺産に登録された寺。

Here, you can meet the famous "Crying Dragon," which refers to a dragon painted on the ceiling.

While this may look like a normal painting of a dragon at first glance, sounding the wooden clappers beneath it, you will hear the dragon's roar.

sounding ~ itは分詞構文。if you sound ~ itと書き換えると分かり易い。wooden clappers「拍子木」。

This roar is actually a reverberation caused by the floor and ceiling.


The ceiling, on which the dragon is painted, has dents which make it difficult for sound to spread, thus producing this noise.

thus producing ~は分詞構文。

We can't show you any photo since taking pictures is prohibited, but it's definitely a must-go spot inside Nikko Toshogu Shrine.






「日光を見ないうちは結構と言うな」ということわざを聞いたことはありますか?これは「日光東照宮を見ないうちはむやみに他の建築物を褒めるべきではない」という意味です。つまり、日光東照宮の美しさを褒め称えたことわざなのです。これに似た表現として、英語にはSee Naples and die.というのがあります。「ナポリを見てから死になさい」、つまり「死ぬ前に一度は風光明媚なナポリを見ておきなさい」と言っているのです。 

みなさんは、三猿の彫刻のモチーフはどこが発祥の地だと思いますか?ほとんどの人は「日本」と答えると思います。「サル」と「ざる(打消の助動詞)」が掛かっているところから、私もずっとそう思っていました。ところが驚くべきことに、この三猿の彫刻は世界各地で見つかっているらしいのです!一説では古代エジプトが起源ではないかとも。ちなみに英語では三猿をthe three wise monkeysと言います。そして、「見猿聞か猿言わ猿」はSee no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.と表現します。