Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I went with Tiffany last weekend to check out Nikko. It's a popular tourist spot in the Tochigi prefecture and is well know for its impressive temples and the famous see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkies.

Getting there is fairly simple, but takes about 4 hours via train so we left really early on Saturday. While on the train we ended up talking to a very interesting older women who was sitting next to Tiffany and across from myself. She apparently lived in England for a year and has a husband who works in Kentucky. It was great getting to chat with her and she really helped us out. The train we were on split at a certain point, one half going to Nikko, and the other half going another direction and lets just say we wouldn't have been on our way to Nikko without her help. Our first stop wasn't actually Nikko, but Utsunomiya to check out a famous stretch of cedar trees. It's actually listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds longest tree lined avenue. It was a gorgeous area, so I'm glad we made the extra stop. I can't get over how great the area smelled....yeah, that's right, smelled. They were cedar trees after all.

After that we checked into out flash back to the 70s style ryokan and then walked around. Right outside our hostel there was this really neat red bridge so we went to take some pictures. We also stopped at a curry place for some lunch. Tiffany made fun of me cause it was like the 5th day in a row that I had eaten curry. What can I say? I'm a curry fan! Afterwards, we wandered around some more and ended up at a giant temple area and walked around town for a bit taking note of various interesting shops and oden vending machines.

The next day, because we only had a little bit of time, and a lot to see, we signed up for a tour. All in Japanese of course, but we managed to muddle our way through the important instructions. The tour took us to a few waterfalls, the red bridge we had seen the day before (but this time we got to actually go on the bridge), and 3 different famous temples including the one we had stumbled across the day before and the famous temple that has the carving of the famous hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkies.

Once the tour was over, it was another lengthly train ride back home. But don't worry. We made the most of our time. ;D

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