Fall Colors in Nikko
Nikko Travel Blog› entry 17 of 32 › view all entries
November 3rd, 2006 – by: ErinPatty
Brooke, Katie, and I were in Nikko on Friday and Saturday to see the fall colors. I was bit nervous about the trip because I was the one who made all of the arrangements but I think it went really well.
We left Ami at around 6:45 on Friday morning (Thank you Andrea, for the ride to the station) and arrived in Kita-Senju where we had to change trains. A friendly station officer helped us buy our tickets (we couldn’t read the kanji) and then told us what track we wanted. After that we went down to the platform and doubled checked with the station officer down there to make sure we were in the right area. He told us that we were and then asked two women who were in front us to help us on our journey to Nikko (the women were also going to Nikko).
The women were happy to help us and one even spoke a little English. She told us once we were on the train that at a station down the way the carriages would separate and only the first two carriages would be going to Nikko. Brooke, Katie, and I talked for most of the train ride and after about two hours, the women came back and told us at the next stop that the train would be separating. Once the train stopped, they made sure that we followed them to the next first two carriages. The women were very helpful and I am glad that they were there to explain the carriage split because I never understand that when it is announced over the speakers on the train.
We arrived in Nikko around 10:40am and walked from the station to the small Inn where we were staying.The lady at the inn let us check in early and then helped us figure out what would be the best time to head up the mountain the next day. We told her that we would be leaving at around 6:00am to head up the mountain and she allowed us to fill out all of the check out information so that we could make it up the mountain (normal check out time is at 10:00am). After that we went to our room and got ready to the first bit of sightseeing.
Brooke, Katie, and I were starving by this point so we went in search of a Chinese Restaurant that was located between the hotel and the temple area. Once we found it we ordered our food and realized once the first plate was set down that we probably ordered too much. We managed to eat most of it and I must say that I will be going back to that restaurant because the food was really good.Brooke got a noodle curry dish that was amazing.
The first thing we went to see was the garden that is located in the Nikko temple/shrine area. I don’t have any pictures of it (they are all on Brooke’s camera but I will post them later). It was beautiful; we hit the perfect time to see the fall colors in the temple/shrine area. The reds and oranges looked great with the green grass and the water. We even got some great shots of the three of us in the garden. We then went and explored the temples and shrines. The area was of course crowded but we really did not need to stand in line unless we managed to get stuck behind a tour group (that happened twice).
We saw the same temples that Jana and I saw over the summer but I am amazed at how different they looked with the leaves changing color.It is amazing how different things look depending on the season.
At around 4:00 we finished with the temples and went to the 7-11 to get some food for dinner, we also bought some junk food. Once we got back to the hotel we plugged in my iPod docking station and my iPod and played some cards. I also worked a bit on the birthday/Christmas present I am making for Hiromi. After a couple of card games, Brooke went to try out the little onsen that the hotel had and after she finished I went in for my turn.
The onsen was nice. It was just a small bath that had water pumped into from a hot spring outside the hotel. I will admit that it was pretty weird to strip down and sit in a tub that had a bunch of windows facing the outdoors.(There is a spring and a forest that the windows faced so it was a nice view.) The bath was rather large and even though I knew it was not proper edict I could not help but swim a bit in it. I relaxed for about fifteen minutes and then I headed back to the hotel room. Once I got back to the hotel room, Brooke asked me if I had enjoyed my bath. I told her that I did and then she looked at me and asked, “Did you swim in it?” I started laughing and told her that in fact I did swim in it. Turns out great minds think alike and Brooke went for a swim during her bath.
We decided to turn in early because we had to get up at 6:00 to beat the traffic up the mountain. Rumor has it that during peak season it can take between three to five hours to get up the mountain…normally it takes around 50 minutes. Unfortunately the people in the room next to us did not believe that 9:45pm is a time to be quiet in a hotel and they were having a wonderful time laughing and talking in loud voices. I went over to talk ask them to be quiet but I realized that once I got over there they were not speaking English or Japanese so I went back to the room. After another loud burst of laughter I decided to do the universal signal for shut up, I pounded on the wall, it worked.
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