27 Jun 2014


Our long time Japanese friends whom we hadn't seen since 1980 took us out today.   A great reunion.

We travelled by train from Tokyo to Nikko to see the Toshugu Shrine, the resting place of the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Orderly subway queues.
A bit hard to get into this train
Had to change trains at Asakusa and took the opportunity to walk to the Sensoji Temple nearby to see the big lantern.
The train from Asakusa took about 1.5 hours to reach Nikko, where our friends had organised a taxi to take us around.

Nikko street scene
Drove past the Shinkyo Bridge
More cherry blossoms
Drove up the Akechidaira Plateau.  Below is a view of the road up.
 And a view of the road down - note the waterfall on the right
Went to see Kegon Falls
Descended the Plateau to see Mt Nantai, the volcano which gave rise to Lake Chuzenji at its base
We were informed Lake Chuzenji is now contaminated with radioactivity from Fukushima, and fish from here are now longer safe to eat.
Taxi driver suggested a visit to the Kanman-ga-fuchi Abyss, where we were greeted by these Jizo Statues, a spot we were glad not to have missed.
Pagoda at the Toshugu Shrine
Three wise monkeys carved on the Sacred Stables

Another famous carving here is of the "imagined elephants" done by the artist who had never seen an elephant, guided only by descriptions
Most famous of all is the sleeping cat
The Karamon Gate, unusually ornate for the Japanese
Ended the day at a ramen house
With a simple bowl of butter and corn ramen, supposedly a Hokkaido specialty.

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