Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum and Temple is located in the historic Nikko National Park in the Tochigi Prefecture. Rinnoji Taiyuin is part of the Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Temples and Shrines. Please refer to my section on Nikko National Park but more information about Nikko National Park and how to reach the Nikko Temples and Shrines.
Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum was built for Third Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu. Ronniji Taiyuin Mausoleum was built in the same architectural technique and style , as well as the arrangement of the buildings are virtually the same as those of Nikko Toshogu Shrine though it is built on a smaller scale.
It is said that this Mausoleum was built for Third Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu by Monk Jigen Daishi. Shogun Iemitsu is the grandson of Shogun Ieyasu, who is venerated as a deity at the Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
Nikko Rinnoji Taiyuin Temple Seal
Shogun Iemitsu was responsible for rebuilding the Nikko Toshogu Shrine as a world renowned Shrine and created as an example of many other Toshogu shrines in Japan, such as the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. After Shogun Iemitsu passed away, Monk Jigen Daishi, built the Taiyuin Mausoleum in remembrance of Shogun Iemitsu. In addition this Mausoleum follows the same architectural splendor as the Toshogu Shrine. It is said that there was not always a temple at this site but Emperor of Japan around that time Emperor Gomizuno, granted the title of a Temple (Rinnoji Taiyuin) to this mausoleum. Since then the members of Imperial family have assumed head priesthood to this temple (in addition to the Rinnoji Sanbutsudo Temple). The Temple in the Mausoleum was closed when Prince Kogen resigned from Head Priesthood at the end of the feudal period, but it was soon re-organized and granted the Temple status again.
Spectacular Inner Sanctuary of the Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum
This building like the Toshogu Shrine, is spectacular in setup and arrangement. There are a row of Iron lanterns in the grounds between the middle entrance and the inner sanctuary. This is a spectacular sight to watch, one not to be missed.
Here is a video of Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum and Temple: