zaterdag 17 oktober 2009

Saturday October 17 2009, Nikko World Heritage

Saturday October 17 2009 Nikko during the day, World Heritage and traveling to Matsumoto in the evening. Sunny to the right of the Hotel, Clouded to the left(in the mountains) 15C (later in the evening in Tokyo it was 22C)
(Click here for a picture of the oldest train station in Japan and the bags we have during traveling) We wake up by the alarm at 7am in the Japanese beds and room. The white paper walls, that can move on rails, give a special light in the room. We can see the mountains clearly now, as it seems less clouds/rain is in the air. We get a very nice breakfast in the lobby, restaurant, internet room. Eggs with vegetables, potatoes, butterbread and some other bread. The ranking of the hotel got higher ;-). We buy a 2-way bus ticket for the lake. 2000Yen per person, for a 45 minutes bus drive. The bus drive is cool, as we climb in the mountains and rise to a 2500 meters above sea level. You can see its colder here, as the trees have much more color on them already. The road is one way and two lanes, so the return path will go over different mountains. We stop in the village and walk to the biggest waterfalls of Japan. And its indeed a beauty, number one in the top 3 of Japans waterfalls, so says the information sign. We take pictures in different modes and out of different angles and walk to the shops and food market. They have a lot of sweets from the region here and are happy to share little samples with anyone. So I taste a lot of Japanese specialties :-) And almost all of them I like very much. The pickles I leave alone, they are not my favorites in general. We walk to the lake, about 20 minutes walk. And sit down and relax a bit. Its rather chilly, thus wearing sweaters and a jacket for the first time in the holiday. In front of a Japanese restaurant we stare at the plastic food samples outside. The ones we think “look” good, we choose and eat. We happen to have ordered a bowl of rice with pork and a big bowl of thick noodles (I rather would call it thick pasta) in soup with chicken. Both are very nice. Despite the small look it gives you soon a “full”feeling. Its 1850 Yen all together, which is relative inexpensive for such meals compared to a Dutch lunch. The bus back to Nikko we cue up for and in 10 minutes we are going downhill the otherside of the mountains. Some spectacular views on the colored leaves and after 45 minutes we are back. The train we need to take leaves at 16:00. We have 1.5 hour to relax in the sun, Apparently Nikko has more sun than the mountain tops. The luggage, we were allowed to leave in the hotel (we got numbered tokens on the bags from the desk), we picked up again and set off to the train rides. From Nikko we take the JR line to Utsunomiya(45 mins). There we take, after a 45 minute wait, the Shinkansen to Omiya(30 mins). The Shinkansen Asama 539 will take us to Nagano (arrival at 19:29). The last train we need is the ltd. Express (wideview Shimano 26) to Matsumoto (19:40-20:30). From there we will walk to and check in the hotel. Update: In 10 minutes we walk from the station to the Hotel. At check in Sheila gets to choose a little gift from the Hotel for herself. The room is nice and has internet so we update the blog and check out a lot of info on the next days. We doubt about getting to Kyoto to watch the firefestival, but it seems it will cost us about 2 days and a lot of hassle, and the chance that you are pushed around and do not see much is high (according to some of the web blogs we just read). And we are not the types that like big crowds, that push you around and try to protect your photo and film gear, so we call it off. We used Skype to phone with Sheila's dad. Greetings Marcel San PhotoKingh... or in Japanese 写真王 (写真 is Photo and 王 is King)

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