My train left from Tokyo from platform 21 at 09:40 am. Destination Nikko. Before everybody was allowed on the train employees of the station turned all chairs around so nobody would face the wrong direction. Amazing! Seated next to me a sweet elderly couple enjoying their Bento Box. You can buy Bento Boxes on the station, filled with rice, meat or fish and so on. Great for lunch. After a short stopover in Utsunomiya I arrived in Nikko. Getting to my hotel: Nikko Station hotel classic was easy, located conveniently across the small station.
The hotel looked impeccable. Since I wasn’t allowed into my room before three pm, I left my bags at the reception and explored Nikko. Decided not to take the bus when I saw the number of people that wanted to get on. Besides, the weather was perfect for walking around. When I nearly reached the end of the main street I sat down at Hippari-Dako a small restaurant with a good vibe. Make sure to write a note and leave it on the wall in the restaurant. You won‘t be the first trust me. At that point, I already fell in love with Nikko.
Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko
After a great lunch, I continued my path to Shinkyo Bridge dating back to 1636. You can either pay a small fee and walk across the pretty old bridge or do like me and watch the bridge from the road next to it.
From Shinkyo bridge I walked to Toshogu Shrine, I thought it couldn‘t get better than Kamakura. What did I know? The temple hides in the forest, in fall you get threated with beautiful and colorful foliage. The trees were already very colorful but not at its peak yet. Loved every minute of walking along the path.
Toshodu temple is the final resting place of Tokugawa leyasu. Founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, they ruled Japan over 250 years until 1868. Tokugawa leyasu grandson build the temple to its current state halfway the 16th century. Too bad that the main gate was under renovation and I had to miss its beauty. The renovation should be finished March 2019. Still more than worthwhile. A must go when you visit Nikko.
Always hold your breath when taking a picture. Still not thin hahaha. Working on it I will get there someday. Just outside the temple grounds, I found this beauty.
Iemitsu Mausoleum (Taiyuinbyo)
Before I reached the small temple area, I had to climb the stairway first. Around the area I got stopped by a group of Japanese school kids twice. They wanted to ask a few questions in English. So adorable! Both times I received a set of cards (see the pictures). The temple is surrounded by walls and trees, beautiful.
I also wanted to walk along Kanmangafuchi Abyss. It was just 3 pm when I ended up in my hotel room instead, needed to relax. At night I found a great little place called Komekichi Kouzushi near the hotel and had myself some amazing Sushi and Yuba (Tofu Skin). The Yuba was good, not something you had to have had though. If you are here and it’s on the menu, yeah try it.