Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - Nikko

Today we went to Nikko. When they say day trip, they mean it. There was a lot of stuff we wanted to see but it was getting late and we were going to miss the bus back to the train station.

Had the usual breakfast in the morning, they had some really good oniguri. Don’t know what was in them. Just that one had purple bits in it (some kind of fruit?) and the other had some green bits in it (some sort of plant I assume). After that we decided to head to Nikko. It’s a couple hour train ride from Tokyo and is in what looks like a rural area. The train ride itself was really fun aside from the seats being a little on the small side. Just endless rice patty fields and mountains and it was just really beautiful. I was taking a bunch of pictures. Even though we took the express line which went a little faster, maybe around 70mph, I could still get some pictures without the blur. Also did a couple videos I want to go through. At one point you could see several water wheels along the side of the tracks.

So we get to Nikko and it’s just overwelming the detail these temples had. Went into a few places where we couldn’t take pictures unfortunately. We finally went to place where we had to take our shoes off. First time I saw a tatami mat in real life. They’re actually rather comfortable to walk on barefoot. I took a bunch of pictures but unfortunately it was a cloudy day and starting to rain so had some problems trying to get some pictures.  Think I got a few good ones though.  There were also several groups of school kids there. Was kinda funny since they’d say “hello” and we would reply back with hello or high and they just say “hello” again. I said “hello, how are you?” to one small groups of kids and they just kinda laughed and said hello. Unfortunately we got there late so couldn’t see a couple things like the Shinkyo bridge and Kegon Falls. Guess it’s just an excuse to come back to Japan again :)

After we got back we ate at a KFC… yep… kfc. And headed back to the hotel. I am really glad I went to Nikko and next time I come I want to get there really early, or even spend a night there.

Some side notes since being here. First off, japanese really are extremely nice and helpful and thoughtful. I took a picture at a car rental lot that all the windshield wipers were pulled away from the windows since it was raining and they didn’t want to get that line you get on the windshield right underneath your wipers when it rains. We were a little lost getting back to the hotel and ask for directions. We were on the street and the guy walked with us down the subway and pointed out where we had to go. When we were trying to get the ticket for the train to Nikko, the woman walked us down through several flights of stairs, through to an employee entrance and walked us back afterwards. Like I’ve mentioned before people have just offered help, to someone that doesn’t even speak the native language. Another odd thing is how this country handles currency. It is completely fine to pay for something that’s 250 yen with a 10,000 yen bill (~$110 us) and yet good luck on finding a place that accepts credit cards.

Needless to say with the long train ride and all the temples I took a bunch of pictures, probably around 250 or so. I know people keep bugging me to upload pictures but by the time I get back I don’t feel like going through the pictures. I’ll try to post at least a couple pictures… at some point.

3 Responses to “Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - Nikko”

  1. JB Says:

    Next time you go back to Nikko, go back in April. If you’re lucky, the snow will be melting, there’ll be hardly any other people, and the Kegon falls will have icicles hanging off them. Nikko is probably the only place I’ve ever been to that lived up to the hype. I look forward to your pictures!

  2. Erik Says:

    Why would you eat KFC while visiting a foreign country? :\

  3. Todd Says:

    because they are all over the place and just happened to be the first place that interests us. Still have to go to a mcdonalds :)

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