Japan 4: Nikko & Japanese tradition

Today we went to Nikko!! We had been looking forward to Nikko for some time now, as it’s a quiet nature area with lots of culture. After visiting only Japanese cities, it’s nice to also see the other side of Japan. So we got up really early, and hopped on the nearly 2 hour train to Nikko. When we arrived there, we called our host as he said we could, and not even 5 minutes later, he came greeting us at the station, and offered to take our bags back with him, so we could start our day right away without any hassle. Super! So off we went, walking through Nikko after getting some lunch at the largest supermarket we have seen in 4 months. Nikko is pretty small, and so we arrived pretty quickly near the most important (and most expensive!) temple complex, Toshogu. On the way, we saw a Japanese wedding taking place at Futarasan Shrine; cool!

Japanese wedding ceremony.

Back to Toshogu Shrine. Entry there costs almost 10 euro, which is even more expensive than entrance to the Tokyo zoo (only 4,50 euro). Anyway, it was a really nice temple, with many different buildings.

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The three monkeys, arguably the biggest attraction for most since the main gate was being renovated.
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Toshogu
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The carvings at Toshogu are just impressive.
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Toshogu temple
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The most beautiful gate at Toshogu.
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Old carriages
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The carving that all Japanese were staring at: a sleeping cat. Yes, really. It’s on their money apparently.
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The shrine gate.
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Beautiful moss on the pillars.

After our visit to Toshogu Shrine, we walked along through the village, to see Bakejizo, a park full of Buddha statues, which lies alongside the river. See the amazing pictures below:

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Bakejizo Stone park.
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Time lapse of the Kanmangafuchi Abyss.

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When we came back to the village after our “Buddha” walk, we decided to head for our hotel early. We arrived at this amazing traditional home, with very friendly hosts. Our room is in traditional Japanese style, and has tatami mats on the floor, and beds on the floor that you roll out at night. There were traditional robes lying ready for us, and we even have our own “onsen”, or Japanese bath, in the house! After a long day, we relaxed in our room traditionally, with some tea;)

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Our very own tea ceremony in our traditional room:)

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