Japan Trip Day 6 - 2013-08-01

We woke up this morning and it was pouring! Most of the sights in Nikko are outdoors, so a lot of rain would definitely make things unpleasant. Fortunately, as we had breakfast the rain started to let up, and by the time we were done it was sunny and beautiful!

We visited Taiyuin Mausoleum and Tosyugu Shrine, both of which were quite beautiful, particularly set against the hilly greenery of Nikko. Below is the front gate of Taiyuin Mausoleum. Kellian pointed out that it looks like the red fellow on the right is about to eat me.

Below is the sacred fountain at the Taiyuin Mausoleum. The water is for purifying yourself before entering the temple, by washing your hands with the water.

These three monkeys are part of a set of carvings above the sacred stable in Tosyogu Shrine. They demonstrating seeing no evil, speaking no evil, and hearing no evil, three major principles of the Tendai sect of Buddhism.

The Karamon Gate at Tosyogu Shrine was quite impressive, I really liked how the white contrasted with the natural wood on the columns. Also, the carvings were very detailed and well preserved.

It had been drizzling for a bit, but halfway through visiting the Tosyogu Shrine it really started to pour! Fortunately we were close to a place where we could hide from the rain for a bit. It rained heavily for about a half hour, but then it let up again. We had an umbrella, but our feet would have still gotten soaked!

After visiting the shrine, we were pretty hungry and decided to grab some food at the first place we came across as we were exiting the shrine area. It wasn't very good, but at least it was quick and it saved us some time hunting for something better!

Next we hopped on a bus and headed to check out Kagon Falls, which was listed as one of the must-see sights in Nikko. It was a fun bus ride, about 40 minutes on winding roads going up the mountain, with some spectacular scenery. The falls themselves were quite impressive, plunging over 300 feet down!

 We were able to view it from a platform near the top, and they also have an elevator that takes you down to another viewing area at the bottom. Surprisingly, it didn't seem as large from the bottom since there wasn't anything for scale.

Next we headed over to Lake Chuzenji, which was very calm as we arrived and reflected the mountains in the distance quite beautifully! They had small pedal boats that you could rent, but unfortunately we arrived right after they had closed.

After admiring the lake for a little while, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit before heading out to dinner. On our walk to dinner, we passed Nikko's Sacred Bridge, which looked very nice with the mist coming off the river.

Here's another shot after the sun had gone down. The street light behind the bridge wast streaming through the mist, another impressive scene!

For dinner there wasn't a whole lot to choose from: Nikko seems to pretty much close down at 5:00! Even most of the restaurants were closed. We ended up eating at a Chinese food place that was decent, but not great.

After a long day of hiking around temples, we're glad to be back for a bit of a rest. Tomorrow, we'll be heading back to Tokyo for the start of the International Puzzle Party! Woo hoo!


Christine Crivello said...

WOW the Nikko's Sacred Bridge and the lake, thanks for the pictures. Beautiful, Chris & Chris

Janet Pletcher said...

Those are some fabulous photos especially the bridge with the mist rising. It looks like a painting!