Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Nikko is an ancient city about two hours from Ota (or three by train). It is a tourist attraction for both Japanese and foreigners in all seasons, but the autumn is supposed to be particularly beautiful. So yesterday Jackie (the cat from Halloween) and I embarked on the long journey to the famous Nikko. The mountain regions of Japan are beautiful! And no, Ota is not really in the mountains, not like the little towns that we passed along our way. It was so beautiful, the whole train ride up, even getting lost, was a delight! It was Jackie’s birthday so the day was extra special.
The two of us arrived in Nikko at about half past eleven and after a delicious Korean lunch at a little local restaurant (Jackie’s first taste of Korean food), we headed up to the shrines. Along the way we passed by the famous World Heritage bridge which is crimson an particularly stunning in the fall with the colours. The Japanese maples were at their prime but over all I would have to say that Muskoka blows Japan out of the water when it comes to autumn foliage.
The temples and shrines that we visited were breathtakingly beautiful! I can now say I have seen the original carving of the famed Three Monkeys - hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil!!!!
We wandered around the temple area for several hours and allowed ourselves to get turned around in the narrow lanes and tall trees. There were lots of people there, and this was on a Tuesday so I have no doubt that the place is crowded on national holidays and on the weekend.
While we did see quite a few foreigners there, I don’t think we came across any that were English speaking. It really felt like we were traveling!
The pictures will, I am sure, speak for themselves . I did buy a photo book on the temples and on Nikko so I can provide you with more info if anyone wants more.
There is also a beautiful lake up one of the mountains, about an hour from Nikko which we did not get to see as we did not have enough time. I am sorry we didn’t get to the lake. I was so looking forward to it!
I am currently once again in Tokyo. I came in today for a meeting with my new company and I have spent the last few hours apartment shopping. It is frustrating.
So yesterday was fabulous.
I am looking forward to seeing Ani and Nina this evening. Ani has planned an evening for us. I will stay with them this evening.
The weather has just started to turn. The chill is in the air and at nights it drops below 10! I realize that you folks trapped in Canada have this as your daytime high if you are lucky but I am still working on temps in the 20s. This is apparently a cold patch so hopefully it will warm up again. I am not ready for this. I don’t have a coat! shame…I might just have to buy one of those fashionable Japanese ones…..