Sunday, 11 October 2009

Let's Go To Nikko!

We didn't leave Yotsuya until 11am.

I know we should've gotten up earlier, but getting up is a real challenge these days so I think we should be commended for managing to even be awake at that time.

Today's plan was to make our way to Nikko, a world heritage site of temples and shrines. On the way there we paid the extra extortion reserve seat fare to use the limited express because our time was limited as it was, and would get us there a little faster.

Arriving at Tobu Nikko station we were a little disorientated where to get the 1,000 yen combined ticket, but once we found it we were on our way.

Getting close to the temple area is the Shinkyo Sacred Bridge.

We first went to the Rinnoji Temple which houses the impressive three Buddhas hall. It's a shame photography wasn't allowed inside. I guess they have to sell postcards somehow. We had to wait patiently for the guide to hurry up explaining, so we could move on to the next location.

Moving right along was the 5 storey pagoda, and the Carvings of the Three Monkeys on the Sacred Stable building. For some reason I really like pagodas, and this one looks really nice. The monkey carvings apparently tell a story. You can see the monkeys do the "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" thing.

Close by you can see the Yomei-mon Gate entrance to Toshugu Shrine.

From what I read the Sleeping Cat carving was quite ordinary to see, so we bypassed that, and the kept going to the Futarasan Shrine.

There were no forbidden photography signs inside, so I discreetly took a picture of this cute little model.

Our final destination was the Taiyuin Shrine, but unknown to us they closed at 430pm, and we arrived there at 431pm. I wasn't too impressed by that.

We were pretty tired anyway so we started making our way back to the station. Coming here reconfirmed my feelings that temples and shrines aren't all that for me. While as a tourist it may worth the trouble to get here, for me nothing has topped Miyajima as a must-see in Japan. There are quite a few hiking trails around here so that could be an interesting alternative.

Going back we caught the normal trains which was close to an almost unbearable 3 hour ride home. Getting back I realized it was cheap icecream day at the supermarket. I rushed there just before closing to get our weekly fix. I may be tired, but nothing gets in the way of my sweet tooth!

I didn't realize tomorrow is the Sports Day holiday. Had I known that, we'd probably go then, and earlier. Still, it gives us a nice day to relax and recover.