Hiking in the Fall

Nikko Travel Blog

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At 6:05am, Brooke’s alarm went off and we got dressed and headed out to the bus stop. I think we picked the perfect time to head up the mountain because there was no traffic. The road up the mountain has 48 turns and each turn is represented by a hiragana symbol (there are 48 different hiragana symbols). The bus ride up took about 50 minutes and I did pretty well on it, a charter bus going up a switch back mountain should make anyone a bit nervous.
The first stop when we got up the mountain was to see the huge waterfall. We missed the color change on the mountain so it was rather brown but I still thought the waterfall was beautiful. After taking a bunch of pictures, we walked over the lake and found a coffee shop. We sat down, outside, to enjoy our coffee and light breakfast snack when we saw the monkeys! Being tourists we immediately jumped up, ran away from the restaurant, and started snapping pictures of the monkeys.
The monkeys in Nikko are big monkeys with fangs. I am not lying, they have sharp pointy teeth. Once we had our fill of picture taking we went back and finished our breakfast and then headed out to hike around the lake.

The hike around the lake was great! Some of the trees still had some color and the water was really calm. Brooke described it perfectly when she said “Serenity”. We really had no plan in mind when it came to the hiking we just started walking around the lake and had no idea where we would end up. Turns out we ended up by Ryuzu Waterfall, which is the first waterfall that Jana and I found when we went on our hike in Nikko at the end of July. Once again, we snapped some pictures and then decided to walk back the way we came.
We hiked until about 11:30 and then we decided to catch a bus back to the main town.
We stopped at a bus stop next a boat house where five or six other people were waiting. The first bus was supposed to show up at the bus stop at 11:35 (it didn’t come), the second was supposed to come at 11:50 (it didn’t come), the third bus was supposed to show up at 12:15 (no bus), finally at around 12:50 a bus showed up and it was full. The bus driver said the next bus would be by in about 20 minutes. At this point I really needed to pee so I figured it would be safe to go to the boat house and go to the bathroom. I just finished when Brooke said “Crap, bus.”
We took off running and almost got hit.
When we got to the bus stop (it was across the street and a couple steps away from the boat house) the wonderful Japanese people were waiting outside the bus and they did not get on until we got in line to get on the bus. They told the driver thank you for waiting and then we got going.
The original plan had been to spend until 3:00 on the mountain shopping around but once we got on the bus our driver informed us that it was going to be a three hours bus ride down the mountain because of the cars. I looked at Brooke and Katie, translated, and then we decided to skip the shopping and just go back down the mountain because our train was leaving at 6:00pm. We made it down the mountain in about two hours and twenty minutes, grabbed some dinner at the 7-11, picked up our bags at the hotel, and then headed to the train station.
We caught an earlier train and made it back to Ami an hour earlier than we had planned. Andrea picked us up from the station (Thank you again!) and then we headed home. I had a great time in Nikko, I think it was the perfect time to visit the town, and we planned well because we didn’t get stuck in traffic (aside from the bus ride down the mountain). Brooke and Katie also said they had a great time.
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photo by: Shakar81