Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine
In 766, Buddhist monk Shodo ventured into the mountains around Nikko and founded Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the deity of Mt. Futarasan, also known as Mt. Nantai. As the most prominent peak in the area, Mt. Futarasan is the center of longtime local mountain worship and an ujigamisama, a god that protects the immediate area. The precincts of the shrine extend over 3,400 hectares, and include most of the mountains of Nikko National Park. Futarasan-jinja became a UNESCO World Heritage site for its irimoya hip-and-gable roofs, a style borrowed from China. The shrine also includes lush gardens with gushing spring water. Today, Futarasan-jinja is popular among people praying for good luck, fertility and happiness in marriage.