In 766 when the capital of Japan was Nara, a Buddhist priest named Shodo Shonin (Saint Shodo), stepped into the mountains in Nikko and founded the Shihonryuji Temple (the origin of the Nikkosan Rinnoji Temple),: this was the beginning of the history of Nikko. Then, Shodo Shonin tried to climb the 2,486-high Mt. Nantaisan and reached to the top at the third attempt. Having founded okumiya (the rear shrine), and hongu (main shrine), there, he opened the Jinguji Temple (current Chuzenji Temple), by the Chuzenji Lake. From this time, Nikko’s prosperity began, as a sacred place of faith where Shintoism to worship the mountain god coexists with Buddhism to consider the mountains as the pure land of the Goddess of Mercy.