UNESCO World Heritage Site
02.08.2012 - 02.08.2012
We set off to Tokyo station to catch our bullet train at 10.20am. For breakfast we had a couple of cinnamon sugar pretzels. We caught the bullet train to Utsonomiya, where we had a half hour wait before catching a faily old fashioned looking train to Nikko.
Entrance to Nikko National Park
Once in Nikko, we set off on about an hours walk in the midday sun to Nikko National park. Once there, I had the opportunity to get my toes wet in a stream, which cooled me down beautifully. This was however short lived, as we hiked up some 100 odd steps in order to rech the shrines.
The first was a massive warehous with a picture on the font of the temple it contained. We struggled to find the entrance to this until later in the day. In looking for the entrance, we found a very peaceful Japanese garden with statues of Bhuddas. We visited a reasonably sized temple with lots of intricate wood carvings painted in mainly blue, red and green with an abundance of gold leaf.
We headed down into town for some lunch. Chris tried the curry and I had a noodle soup with some sort of fish that was oval and flat with a bright pink swirl in the middle. It had a rubbery texture to it, similar to squid but nowhere near as chewy.
After lunch we headed back up to the temples. We finally found the entrance to the warehouse shrine. They are currently in the middle of a 20 year restoration plan. We went to the largest and most famous shrine, which housed enormous detailed golden Bhuddas. There were a few miniature shrines surrounding the main temple, which made the whole area look exceedingly pretty. On the way up to the schrine, there is another tower shrine, which is famous for sitting as high as the Tokyo sky tree. This shrine had the most amzing carvings and statues.
We caught a bus back to the train station and caught a train to Akihabara where we had dinner by the canal. We found an Italian restaurant and ordered some garlic bread to start followed by Chris having a strange meat pizza with sweet tomato sauce and salad on top. I had a noodle dish with peppers, aubergine and sausage. While we were waiting for our food, we had these strange spahetti sticks in a glass. Initially we were unsure as to whether these were edible of just for decoration. I bravedit and found out there were in face a type of crisp.
Our garlic bread arrivved and it looked like 2 sushi piecces. It was incredibly strong! My dinner arrived shortly after and was placed in the middle with side plates for us and tongs to serve. Why would they think we were going to share?!
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel for an early night.