vrijdag 16 oktober 2009

Friday October 16 2009 Traveling Tokyo - Nikko , World Heritage

Friday October 16 2009
Traveling Tokyo - Nikko , World Heritage
Sunny clear skies 22C in Tokyo, Clouds and rain in Nikko.
We had the alarm at 7am today, to make sure we are packed, dressed,
checked out and on our way to Nikko. A trip where we would need the
shuttle bus, normal train, Shinkansen and than a normal train again.
Between all of them only 7 minutes max to transfer between the
different transports. At the moment I am writing the blog while in the
train to Nikko, so the plan we had today worked out fine. Even got
seats, not unpleasant for a full train and about 1 hour traveling.
In the train the conductor passes by. Not to check your cards, but to
ask if someone needs to upgrade their tickets. No one travels here
without paying, and the difficult system sometimes makes people buy
the cheapest ticket and than in the train or when leaving the station,
you pay the amount needed for the trip you just had.
In Nikko we only have to walk for 15 minutes to reach the hotel. We
are able to get our luggage kept and we even get explanations about
the tourist attractions and how to get there. The walk uphill is about
30 minutes and it starts to drizzle. For 1300 Yen per person we buy
tickets to see all the World Heritage sites. Rinnoji Temple, Toshogu
Shrine, Futarasan Shrine, Ryukoin Temple, Five story Pagoda, Kitano
Shrine and some nice garden. Amazing site. We are unlucky with the
weather when it start to rain hard, but we seek some shelter and wait
until it slows down. On the other side we are lucky. Apparently some
festival is today, autumn related. We see the finest archers in the
world active here. A parade and a dual where they ride the horses and
at full speed have to pass targets and hit them. Spectacular show and
the rituals around it are great to watch. One of the archers hits the
target and I captured the arrow hitting it, so cool. For lunch we have
a snack which seems Bapao like steamed bread. Nice. We walk all the
way back to the hotel, where we in the meantime are allowed to check
in, its 17:00.
We enter the room and the first sign says, take of your shoes. Its a
Japanese style room, with paper moving walls and low on the ground
chairs and beds. We like it.
We take a little break and around 18:30 we go into the little village
to check out the restaurants. There are only a few and only one we
both seem to give it a try. When entering, an other door moves open
and we have to take our shoes off (taking the shoes off is the red
line of the day, as the temples also requested that, so today we had
this ritual 10 times or so). We could not look inside the restaurant,
but now inside we notice its a real Japanese style with also low
furniture. We order rice with raw tuna and a mixed sushi plate. The
looks of the food is already mouthwatering, but eating it is even
better. Delicious dinner! And we are the only two persons in this
Japanese style room, so its almost as we have a private restaurant for
us alone. The evening was only 3500 Yen, about 25 Euro.
5 houses next to the restaurant is a supermarket, where we buy some
drinks for the next day already. They happened to have some nice
chocolate ice-creams to-go, so we buy some for in the hotel room (only
need to cross the street for that). We call it a day.

Marcel de Koningh
Photo KingH

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