Z took a day off from work to join me today, so I planned to visit Nikko(日光) which is closer to Z’s hometown compared to places in Tokyo.
Using my JR Rail pass, I rode on the shinkansen again but this time, towards north to Utsunomiya(宇都宮). We’ve agreed to meet there, at the Nikko line’s platform. Sharing the train cabin with us, were a group of Singaporeans, all of them women in their early 40s. I could tell from their Singaporean accent and them speaking in a mix of English and Hokkein.
I can’t remember but it took about an hour’s ride to Nikko. After getting off, we walked towards the Nikko National park, stopping halfway at a family restaurant for lunch, then continued again to our first destination, the Shinkyo bridge (神橋).
Again, it wasn’t what I expected, haha. Damn travel guides make places look so good but when you get there, it’s totally different.
I expected a quiet place, but it turned out to be busy with tourists.
To “walk” on the bridge, you have to pay. I found this rather stupid so I didn’t pay to enter. Just looking at it from another bridge next to it is satisfying enough.
From here, we took a bus uphill. The road up was featured in Initial D I think. It was called “Japan Romantic Road”. A lot of turns and very steep. I could feel the “cotton” building up in my eardrums as we ascended.
We went to see Kegon Taki (華厳滝), Kegon waterfall. I think this is the first time in my entire life to see and hear and actual waterfall. We walked around some of the shops here. I wanted to try out some Dango but was a little too late. They just sold out. :/
I grabbed this medallion from one machine and had it engraved on another machine just next to it.
Then we took the bus back to the Nikko station where Z and I parted ways. It is the last time we could see each other.
I made my way back to Tokyo, and since I had time, I went to Akihabara again for the third time. Shopped for anime goods again and had dinner at a French restaurant.
Then I decided to try accessing the 3G network here on my phone and managed to chat with a friend for a while. I checked my emails to find a mail sent to me from another Japanese friend whom I’ve also known through FFXI. It was good timing because she gave me some advice travelling in Kyoto, which I was going to visit the very next day.
We also made plans to meet for dinner on the following Friday.