Posted by: pdot78 | January 16, 2009

Week 26.5: Vacation Part 1 – Nikko

Hey guys,

Since there is too much to read/see in for one post(and nothing eventful is happening in my japan life right now), I have decided to split the vacation post up based on location. The first place we went was Nikko(you may remember I made a brief stop there in Obon week).

Here is Amie’s version of the story:

Day 1
My flight was on time leaving Winnipeg at 7am CST. Arriving in Chicago was another story. The pilot repeatedly came on to inform the passengers that only one runway was available for landing, and took an extra half hour to land. After landing, it took almost an hour to taxi to the terminal. Already, it seemed the day would be off to a bad footing. Once in the terminal, with seemingly only an hour to wait until my flight, I felt pretty good. After finding the gate, seeing the huge throng of people waiting for another international flight at the same gate it got worse. Those people were supposed to have left an hour and a half prior. An hour later, we boarded the plane. Another hour of waiting on the plane, the flight took off. Three hours late, and thirteen hours later, I landed finally in Japan. After a frenzy of going through immigration, getting luggage and going through customs, I finally made it out the door. And there was Paul!

After a very quick and heartfelt, joyous reunion, to the embarrassment of the crowd, we rushed to catch the Narita Airport Express train. We were now inseparable for ten days.

Once at Tokyo Station, we hauled some serious butt to find a subway line to go a couple stops, transfer for one more stop then get off at Asakusa. At Asakusa, we got on the local, and much more reasonable Nikko Express Line by Tobu. Two hours later, we arrived at the first city. Exhausted, but running on pure adrenaline, we grabbed a taxi and went to our first hotel. The Nikko Park Lodge had agreed to stay open late so we could check in. That was good foresight, as everyone was getting ready to bed in our almost-hostel abode. We checked in and were shown our room. When booking, Paul had asked for a single double bed. When we checked in, we were given a room with not just one, but 5 single beds, on two floors. And a small propane space heater. It was a very cold night.

Day 2
In the wee hours of daylight, we were much more able to see things around us. And oh boy were they beautiful! After some quick French toast, we were off to see the many historic temples of Nikko, on an almost 8km trek around the city.

Enter Me:

Basically, what she said. Her flight was over three hours late and we hauled tail around Tokyo barely catching every single train to arrive for our 9 train to Nikko at a comfortable 8:55. Other then that, our crazy hotel gave us 5 single beds instead of a double and our room key was attached to a giant wooden duck. I am just glad we didn’t get the giant wooden fish I saw a couple with, it was twice as big as ours!

The temple day consisted mostly of hugs, hand holding and me muttering at tourists under my breath until they got out of my pictures.

My favorite temples we saw were the Toshogu Shrine and the Taiyuin-Byo Shrine. Taiyuin was better in my opinion because it was more colorful and there were a lot less people.

Toshogu Shrine

Toshogu is famous for its see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys.

In addition to this is the completely ridiculous fact that everything in the Shrine grounds is painted and carved to such extravagance and detail.

Taiyuin-byo Shrine

We then went on a quest (I dragged Amie on my quest) to find the Kanmangafushi Abyss. It is a line of Jizo statues along a river that was in itself formed by a volcanic eruption, leaving oddly shaped, smooth rocks. We also got to see a wild monkey! I was super happy for that!

Kanmangafuchi Abyss Jizo Statues

Yes we both joined in the Jizo fun:

That is basically all we did in Nikko. The third day was entirely spent sleeping. Stay tuned for Kyoto. Heres the rest of the pictures:



  1. Wow Amie that sucks about the flight being sooooo late, especially when it’s so long… Well looks like you two had lots of fun =o)

  2. Looks and sounds like you 2 had an amazing time there together. Paul all you’re pictures are amazing, you’re going to have to teach me a few tricks, i need some good pics of Vietnam.
    here s a question how do you zoom in or things but have a blurred back ground? i love it
    Im leaving in a day btw so i will be essentially much closer to you, I wont miss you as much there haha.

    Thats one Long Flight man ugh!

  3. Linda,

    To do any sort of close up zoom on something you should use your macro lens. It is usually just a symbol of a flower on your camera so just push it once for macro and once more for super macro(if it has it). From there you just hold it steady and click on what you want. If you want a certain something focused but everything else blurred try to click on it to focus on the object and then drag the camera onto the shot you want.

    I will post this on your wall too to make sure you get it.

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