(It’s going to be a long long post!)
I’m back from my short trip to Nikkō and am recharged for the rest of the year (well, not much days left though). 😀 Although it was just a night’s stay, we managed to visit all the places we wanted to go within the 2 days there. 🙂
So I was planning to visit Nikkō city during the autumn season but it was difficult getting an accommodation so I had no choice but to postpone the trip to mid-December. Well.. the suggested dates of our trip coincides with our monthsary so we decided to go with the plan. 😀
We bought a free-pass ticket from Tobu travel agency to save the hassle of tapping our IC cards or looking for coins from our wallets to pay the travel fares. The usage of the free-pass ticket is very simple. We flashed the tickets to the staff at Omiya station and took the local trains to Kasukabe station, following that we took a local rapid train which will make a brief stop at Shimo Imaichi station before arriving at Tobu Nikkō. When exiting, we flashed the tickets again to the station staff and done. The entire trip took us about 2 hours.
This ojisan (uncle) sells bento at Shimo Imaichi station. We didn’t purchase the bento from him because right after arriving at Tobu Nikkō, we’ll be having lunch at a soba restaurant. By the way, some passengers on-board the train bought from him and the price is 1,000yen for a box.
This is JR Nikkō station. I noticed that most of the visitors came by Tobu Nikkō instead of JR. I guessed it’s because Tobu train lines are much more convenient & accessible (direct train from Asakusa, etc…) than JR train lines (no direct train from Tokyo, so there’s a need to change multiple trains along the way, i.e. not tourist-friendly). Thank you for welcoming. 😀
We reached around 1030am so we went to have early lunch at Uoyou, soba restaurant.
The broth was flavorful and great for the winter weather and the toppings were yuba rolls and stuffed yuba. Can be quite full although it seems like a small portion. 😉
After lunch, we start our sight-seeing program beginning with Nikkō Tōshō-gū . 😀
The entrance to Tōshō-gū. A recommended photo taking spot. 🙂
I wore layers (knit + 2 heattech inners) underneath the down jacket but still, I was freezing. :O
Admission fee is 1,300yen per person. It’s worth the admission fee because every structures inside were magnificent!
Have you heard of ‘See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil’?
The sleeping cat. 🙂
I didn’t know that after entering this door, there’s a super loooooooongggg stairs waiting for us to climb. :O
There’s a wishing sugi tree beside the tomb. (Tree right in the middle of the photo) I did wished for something and hope it can come true soon. 🙂
Snow getting heavier by the time we finished visiting the Tōshō-gū.
Oyako Sugi (親子杉) – Family tree? Other than Meoto Sugi, there’s Oyako Sugi where the roots of 3 Sugi trees are connected deep down the earth.
Main entrance (torii) to enter Futarasan Shrine.
While on our way to the hotel, the driver made a quick pit stop at the ropeway terminal for us (and other hotel guests) to take a look at Mt. Nantai (男体山). 😀
Quite excited because Singapore don’t have mountains (only hill which is so low-lying), and needless to say, snow capped mountains that is quite near.
We stayed at Hotel Shikisai (ホテル四季彩) and it’s located near Lake Chuzenji.
Ok. I admit.
The view from our room. 😀
I self-imagined that bambi and friends were playing in this area.
We rested for a while and headed for the ONSEN. 😀 😀 😀
No photos allowed so I take from the official site instead. 😉
My first time to try the Sulphuric onsen (that’s why it’s milky in color). Although the smell can be quite strong, I quite enjoy dipping in the bath as it helps to relax the body.
The outdoor baths were great too. The cold air + warm bath = ultimate relaxation time. ♥
I used to think that it’s lonely to go onsen without a girlfriend, like no one to talk to and etc… but after this experience, I realised that it’s not a lonely affair after all. 🙂
Appetizer – Fugu karaage, Saikyo miso grilled chicken, seasoned vegetables, crabstick wrapped with cucumber and persimmon & butter mille-feuille.
Appetizer – Yuba in soy milk, with ponzu and sesame dipping sauce.
Soup – Shirako karaage, grilled yuba roll and dried awabitake in clear broth.
Sashimi – Salmon trout, Hirame and Amaebi.
Main – Wagyu slices with vegetables & yuba roll.
Soba made by the Hotel’s chef.
Stew – White stew (mixed with miso & soy milk) with super tender beef chunk and vegetables.
Rice with chirimen toppings (I’d forgotten to take a photo of it) 😦
Dessert – Black sesame pudding, carrot cheesecake and Tochigi’s brand Tochiotome strawberry.
The portion may look small but it’s quite filling! Super satisfied with the dinner. We wanted to go have a quick dip at the onsen again but we dozed off while resting in the room. :O
Ok! That’s the end of our Nikkō day 1 trip. Sorry for the super long post but thank you for reading till the end. 😀 Will be writing my day 2 trip soon. ♥
Meanwhile, keep warm and enjoy the holiday season! 😀 xoxo