by the time this post is up, I’m already in Shanghai baybeh! posting by me would be slow (I’ll instagram actively though, follow me @annant), that’s why, I recruited a part-time guest blogger, you guys have seen him in my blog quite often recently. bffwb, rings any bell? 😛 so he went to Japan recently for the third bloody time, I forced asked him to share something about Japan on AntzWorLd and he said yes! I gave him 200% of freedom to write about anything, as long as it’s Japan-related, be it places to visit, or yummy ramen, or even the red light district with real dolls on display (did you went in the end?)! he sent me a draft three days after he’s back. manyak efficient eh! but ar, after reading through it, my god, he writes as if he’s sending manuscript to Journal of Ethnopharmacology! totally no blogger material *insert lansi emoticon* :P. anyway, I have to cut this introduction short, as I need to have my brekkie before off to shopping at Qi Pu Lu :D. you guys support har my bffwb ar, gimme face a bit okie! maybe I’ll have a giveaway when I’m back *wink wink* till then xoxo. [drafted on October 22nd, 2013]
Never have I been writing blogs about travel and food. Anyhow, I am honored that Constance Ant Chung See Hui (yea~ that’s how I call her, by full name) (sei yan tao) asked me to guest blog about my recent trip to Japan (while I was on the trip) and since she also mentioned about me as her bffwb (bff with balls, in short) several times, I guess I should make a little bit of contributions to AntzWorLd.
So, this is the third (bloody) time I went to Japan. The first two times were in 2011 and 2012 respectively, I went there alone. This time, brought my mum together, thought of letting her experience the ‘fun’ of ‘backpacking’.
I figured that it might be too long to write the whole trip, so I will just summarize two places located in the Kanto (关东) area. If you like nature and old temples, you will love these places.
Nikko (日光市) is about two hours plus away from Tokyo by train (the Nikko station itself is about 538 m above sea level). It is a world heritage area. With advice from a friend (her blog) who studied in Japan before, I bought the All Nikko Pass for 4400 yen (about RM 145). This pass is only for foreigners and it gives you four days of unlimited use of trains in the Tobu Nikko line and the Nikko buses in Nikko (though you are only allowed to take the rapid and section rapid train; you have to pay another 1000+ yen if were to take the express train).
I tried not to bother you with too muchy (Ant’s style of ‘much’) details, here are some photos:
The All Nikko Pass (4400 yen)
On the way from Asakusa (浅草) station to Tobu Nikko Station on the train.
Tobu Nikko (东武日光) station – Nice weather on that day
On the way to go up to Yumoto onsen (汤元温泉) – from there, I will hike (nah~~ plus riding the bus) all the way down to Nikko station again.
Basically, visiting Nikko is about viewing the waterfalls, enjoying the beautiful surroundings with good weather and looking around the temples (and some would say experiencing the onsen too).
Walking down from Yumoto onsen bus stop, the first destination – Lake Yunoko (湯ノ湖- 汤之湖？) (1475 m above sea level)
Lake Yunoko 湯ノ湖
Lake Yunoko 湯ノ湖
After hiking awhile, the second destination – the top of Yutaki Falls (湯滝 – 汤瀑布)
The Yutaki Falls – it comes from Lake Yunoko
On the way finding the bus stop to Akanuma (赤沼)
From Akanuma, I planned to walk all the way to my next destination.
Hiking in Akanuma
So, on the other side of the gate, there are wildlife such as bears but you have to cross here to get to Ryuzu Falls.
The Ryuzu Falls – Well, it wasn’t the best season to enjoy the waterfalls when I came here. You can Google to see the ambience of the falls in Autumn.
Then, I continued to hike to find the next bus stop and happen to see this lake which is not introduced in the map.
The lake is located near this bus stop.
My next destination was the third falls which is also the most famous in Nikko – the Kegon Falls (華厳ノ滝) – one of the three major waterfalls in Japan (height: 97 m), but unfortunately…
The Kegon Falls is located very near to Lake Chuzenji (中禅寺).
Lake Chuzenji – The volcanic eruption of Mt. Nantai (男体山) which blocked the flow of the water from the mountain and subsequently constituted this picturesque lake.
I was supposed to visit some other places in Nikko such as Toshogu Shrine (东照宫), Rinnoji temple (轮王寺) etc. Again, due to time constraint and I had to rush for the train, I gave up. The Toshogu Shrine was built for the first Tokugawa Shogunate (德川将军) – Tokugawa Ieyasu (德川家康) who appears very frequently in Japan history. For more, go here.
And this fellow was the one who founded the Rinnoji temple in 766 AD (according to the brochure).
So, my last destination was Shinkyo (神桥).
Shinkyo – the exact year of construction was unknown, it was thought to be during the Nara period (8th century) – again, according to the brochure.
While I still had some times,
This tree is called 太郎杉. Some of the older ones are at least 500 years old.
Tokyo Skytree – you will see the actual one at the end of the blog. (he meant by the end of his Japan travelogue)
In summary, if you choose the right season and stay there for at least three days, you will definitely be able to enjoy the whole Nikko area.
Places that I left out besides the temples and Senjogahara Plateau which I mentioned above: Odashirogahara Plateau (for hiking), Tachikikannon (立木观音), Akechidaira Ropeway (ropeway lor…), Futarasan Shrine, Kirifuri waterfall, Kirifuri Kougen and Osaza-bokujou.
Actually, along the way from Asakusa to Nikko, you can also stop by Tochigi (枥木) and Kinugawa (鬼怒川). There is this theme park in Kinugawa called Tobu World Square where some of the world famous buildings and monuments are reproduced and displayed.
Coming next… Kamakura
okay, now please tell him how boring he is in the comment 😛