Uploaded on Feb 21, 2011
A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to Nikko, Japan by TravelPod blogger Davekeli titled "Nikko temples and river"
Davekeli's travel blog entry:
It's 9:30a now on Friday, I'm hanging out in the room trying to wake up! Happy July 4th to all of you! Hope you are having a nice time with BBQs and all that stuff.
It's another beautiful, calm morning in lovely Tokyo. Our neighborhood is just so interesting with how quiet and serene it is. There are really lots of cars and people around, but the noise level is about 20% of what it is back home in Santa Monica! In fact, it's quite rare to hear a car horn, the few times you hear one it's kind of a surprise. Back home, we hear car horns and sirens all day long!
Quote from Keli: "These jeans are SOOO gross. I can't believe I'm gonna wear 'em again." It's about time for us to do laundry...
Yesterday was our fifth day in Tokyo. We absolutely LOVE Tokyo, what a great, fun town with so many interesting things to do and the people are SO nice! One thing there is not much of, is nature. We decided to head for the hills to a place called Nikko, where there is a World Heritage-recognized collection of Shinto / Buddhist temples.
We woke up reasonably early (for us) yesterday and wandered around to find the right train station for the Tobu-Nikko line. It was walking distance from the hostel. It's pretty nerve-wracking figuring out a new subway or train trip here, just because we don't have the language.
We did get on the right train luckily and found our way up to Nikko. About half the trip was city and suburbs, then we finally got into the most gorgeous bright-green fields and little farming communities. The green is really intoxicating. Lots of little one- and two-story houses that look just like houses back home, but with different roof lines. Finally the farms gave way to hills and dense green cedar forest. Once again we were just amazed at how GREEN rural Japan is!
From the train station, after orienting ourselves to the right direction to walk (the map at the station had North at the bottom instead of at the top), we began walking through the quaint, quiet, sleepy town. The day was overcast and threatened rain, so few people were outside. It was like walking through a ghost town, but kind of nice to have the place to ourselves. Lots of small shops and sweet homes. We stopped at a little restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet. The older woman, who was the owner, met us at the door (there were only three tables inside, but they quickly filled up). She was very friendly and spoke good English. Also, the place had a lot of vegetarian food, which was the draw. On the walls of the restaurant were thousands of business cards pinned up by previous patrons. It made for a very fun and exotic atmosphere. Mama-san seemed very proud of serving so many people from so many places around the world. The food was excellent, too - thick and thin noodles and veggies all stir-fried. We were so happy to have good veggie food!
After that, we headed toward the temple complex, which was nestled in the thick, lush forest on the side of the mountain in Nikko. At the foot of the mountain was a beautiful ancient dark-red bridge over a crystal-clear raging river. Beautiful entryway to the shrines.
We started the walk up to the Buddhist temple complex with a climb up a steep stairway made of stone. The stones were covered in moss. Lush, green trees were thick on both sides. It was amazingly peaceful, made all the more serene by the sound of the river running alongside us. When you get to the top of the stairway, you pay for a ticket to all five temples, then make your way toward the first one, which is only a short hike further up the way.
The first temple was, in a word, stunning. It's an enormous dark-red and gold pagoda building. Outside, monks dressed in blue gowns welcome visitors at the entrance. You can make donations by throwing a coin into a wood bin and making a wish like throwing a penny in a fountain back home. Inside this shrine are three golden statues of Buddhist deities that are almost as big as a house. It's humbling to stand next to them.
Further on, the other temples are equally incredible, each with a slightly different décor and architecture and with different religious ..."
Read and see more at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-...
Photos from this trip:
1. "Dave Nikko Temples"
2. "Keli Nikko Temples"
3. "Nikko Graveyard"
4. "Nikko River I"
5. "Nikko River II"
6. "Nikko River Red Tree Engraved Rock"
7. "Nikko River Statue Closeup"
8. "Nikko River Statues"
9. "Nikko Temple Carvings"
10. "Nikko Temple Cat Carving"
11. "Torii Gate Nikko Temples"
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