Shinkyo, Sacred Bridge

This vermillion, arc-shaped bridge marks the entrance to the sacred precincts of Nikko. According to legend, Shodo Shonin (735–817), the holy ascetic was unable to cross to the sacred mountains because of the raging waters of the Daiya River. Upon offering a prayer, a deity calling himself Jinjao appeared and constructed a bridge, allowing Shodo Shonin to cross. Thus, the bridge itself is considered to be sacred. The current bridge was reconstructed in 1904. The bridge is particularly beautiful in the autumn contrasted against the colorful leaves of the trees on the banks of the river.