Kim and I took a little weekend getaway to a place called Nikko. Nikko is approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours by train outside of Tokyo. It is probably the most popular place for those who want to escape the the big city and enjoy nature in all its splendor. Nikko is a quaint mountain town that is home to some exceptional shrines, temples and the burial place of the first Shogun (pronounced Sho-goon (goon as in goonies)).
We stayed at a traditional Japanese pension with all the fixings; tatami floors, futons, and of course the all important tea set. The town itself isn't anything special. I did not think it had any real charm. However the wilderness was gorgeous. The shrines and temples (Tosho-gu) were surrounded by old growth forests, and the mountains in the background made is quite surreal. The Tosho gu area was probably the most decorative and impressive shrines I've seen to date.
Unfortunately the trip was a bit hampered by wind. In all our pictures you will see us bundled up, not because it was extremely cold, but we were getting hit with 20 to 30 mph gusts of wind. It made it quite an unpleasant experience. We intend to go back in the spring or summer when it is a bit warmer to romp around the forests in search of the elusive Japanese macaque (snow monkey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeSQ5Rv7eH8). Until that time enjoy the pics.
Hear no evil speak no evil, see no evil
Our traditional japanese bedroom
Legend has it that the artist never saw an elephant before but was able to create this sculpture based off a dream he had.
Seriously if anyone can tell me what the hell this means I would appreciate it. I mean the japanese makes more sense to me. One would think they would have consulted someone before plastering this on every bus stop sign.