Woke to another beautiful clear day in Nikko. We had another fantastic breakfast at our accommodation and packed our gear up to leave with our host while we do the last of our sightseeing in Nikko today.
Our host led us out of the yard and down to the street at the back of the inn and told us which way to go and then stood there watching us to make sure we didn’t miss the turn. After much bowing and thanking and waving, we went on our way.
We did part the Kanman Walking track over the Dainichi Bridge, where there were some guardian deity statues.
We continued on past a little shrine and lots more of the statues. They’re guarding the Kanman-Ga-Fuchi Abyss – or are they guarding people from the abyss?
There was a little traditional building along the path as well, and some stone ‘totems’. There was a little village with more of the deity statues out the front, too.
We left the track to make our way to the Imperial Villa, passing another temple:
There was a beautiful traditional looking house and garden:
And another shrine:
And then we arrived at the Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park. Again with the ‘no english’ – there were signs for the entrance right up to where there were 2 entrances. We followed a whole bunch of people into the villa – it turned out to be the wrong one, but they kept beckoning us on and were very welcoming, so we got to see some pretty things for free…but we figured this was not the right place for us – didn’t stop me photographing though:
So we then went to the other entrance and finally found where to pay admission. I’d read in my research online that you can rent an audio guide for it (and had just been reminded of their existence – thank Eka!) so asked for an english tour. The lady first said no but I saw them there and then made the headphone gesture and she caught on. The audio tour was pretty good, though very slow-speaking – probably to help all the non-english speakers.
The rooms in the villa were mostly empty but had been renovated about 16 years ago, so everything looks like new. It’s beautiful and set in lovely Japanese gardens, of course:
The emperor’s tatami mat silk edging was made in a special way that the pattern matched up in all directions:
The chandeliers were pretty plain by our standards:
After touring the inside of the villa, we stopped for a little rest. We had the traditional matcha tea with a sweet. Both sweets were made from sweet beans – one was a jelly and the other was like a little pie. They’re obviously pretty special, but we didn’t think much of them – they are just sweet.
Then we wandered through the garden around the villa:
And then headed back to our accommodation to pick up our travel bags. The host was out (which he’d told us would be the case) so we got our bags from the bathhouse where he’d arranged to leave them, and caught the bus to near the Shinkyo bridge to have more of the omurice we’d had for dinner the previous night – it’s just that delicious!
We then got on another bus and then the train back to Asakusa. We spent about 3 hours waiting and riding public transport to get back! But at least we now knew how to get to our accommodation! 🙂
We made ourselves at home, had a beer and a bit of a rest and then headed out for dinner. I wanted to get something cheap, since we’d spent more than usual for lunch, but Ela was after some japanese pizza. We had a look around, and went up to the Matsuya department store’s 7th floor to check out those restaurants and then through the mall across the main road from there and Ela discovered the McDonalds. She’d heard about prawn burgers here, and sure enough! So she bought one of those to go and I stopped at the little Mini Stop shop near the accommodation and bought myself some salmon sushi for half the price of Ela’s meal! The chips tasted the same as at home and Ela said the Ebi burger was pretty good. Mine was pretty great for convenience store sushi!
I’d meant to go to the roof to see the Skytower by night but forgot in the food hunt, so after dinner we went out again to do that:
And we wandered around a bit more since it was nice night. We came across a festival that was just ending. Lots of drumming:
And then back ‘home’ for an early-ish night.
Reworked and larger sized pictures from this day are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.