Winter Nikkō – Day 1

(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.

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Inside the very retro looking train. I didn’t took the arriving train’s photo because the weather at Kasukabe station was very, very, very cold that morning. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe outlook of Tobu Nikkō station. Very retro looking with a touch of old western architecture. The weather was perfect although it was snowing the entire trip. 🙂

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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). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you for welcoming. 😀

We reached around 1030am so we went to have early lunch at Uoyou, soba restaurant.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUoyou’s famous menu – Yuba (beancurd skin) Soba / Udon.

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 . 😀

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The pathway to Nikkō Tōshō-gū a.k.a. Omotesandō right after alighting from the World Heritage bus.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The entrance to Tōshō-gū. A recommended photo taking spot. 🙂

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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!

*One point to note: the famous structure – Yōmeimon is currently under maintenance and would only be ready in 2019, so what you’ll see there is maintenance works.* OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Even the trees look so great. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Inside the properties, the most common colors spotted would be black, gold, red and white. Lavish colors.♥ OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you heard of ‘See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil’?

This set of monkeys have been the spot for photo taking. I gave it a miss because.. doing it with the monkeys makes you look like one. 😉OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGot a photographer there to help us take a photo. 😀

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This entrance was beautifully crafted and dressed in gorgeous colors. You can enter the building from the side entrance, but no photography is allowed inside. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sleeping cat. 🙂

I didn’t know that after entering this door, there’s a super loooooooongggg stairs waiting for us to climb. :O

It eventually leads us to Tokugawa Ieyasu’s tomb. The air up there was so fresh, I could feel the minus ions everywhere. 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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. 🙂

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Snow getting heavier by the time we finished visiting the Tōshō-gū.

Then we headed to Futarasan Shrine (二荒山神社) which is connected to Tōshō-gū. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFutarasan shrine is famous for en-musubi (tying knots/relationship) so I definitely won’t give it a miss. 😉 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meoto Sugi (夫婦杉) – the roots of the sugi trees are connected which relates to a wedded couple being inseparable. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

I’m sure parents will ask the trees for a good family relationship. 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Main entrance (torii) to enter Futarasan Shrine.

We briefly visited Futarasan Shrine as we need to head back at the train station for a bus pick-up by the hotel. 🙂 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bus driver helped us to take a photo. 😀 The snow capped mountains at the back are so so beautiful!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Our room was the normal western style, it’s quite spacious as compared to what we’d imagined.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ok. I admit.

I jumped onto the bed but knocked my shin against the bed frame. 😥OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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. 😀 😀 😀

大浴場

露天風呂

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. 🙂

Feeling refreshed after onsen, it’s dinner time. 😀 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClockwise from top left:

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

 

 

2 thoughts on “Winter Nikkō – Day 1

  1. Pingback: Winter Nikkō – Day 2 | Nonbirichan.

  2. Pingback: NIKKO COFFEE | Nonbirichan.

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