Day 5 Nikko ( Kagon Falls, Chuzenji Onsen )

Trip Start Apr 04, 2010
Trip End May 11, 2010

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Where I stayed
Johsyu-Ya Inn

Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday morning arrived finding me being prodded awake by an annoyingly full of energy Morgan (morning person), we walked the street around 7:30am looking for anything edible which is surprisingly hard to find before 10am in most places in Japan, we ended up walking into a small store which I think was closed but they served us anyway. Morgan had some kind of green bun which actually tasted ok, Giulietta and myself shared some oyshi (delicious) local produce, STRAWBERRYS!!, kumquats and a very very yummy lemon & vanilla bun. We took our breakfast along with 2 cans of what we later discovered to be grape jelly not grape soda and caught the bus to Chuzenji Onsen, as this was before 10am we were of course the only people on the bus as most shops still weren't open by then.

The Bus ride was different as it went up and up and up and around windy corners as chuzenji is in a valley on the other side of a mountain from Nikko. When we arrived at chuzenji onsen we were over  1200m above sea level and saw our first signs of snow, which resulted in a giddy Giulietta, a freezing Jamie and an unperturbed Morgan, and of course lots of photo's followed. s

N.B: Wood crafting is a very popular in Nikko which is made obvious by the dozens of wood artisans around town and the abundant supply of hand crafted goods in all the shops and restaurants.

We walked around town looking at the local shops and artisans through the windows as they were still just getting ready to open until we found an excellent mum and pop wood shop that was open.  We walked around through all the hand made wares whilst the owners explained what some things were and after choosing out several souvenirs it was a nice surprise when he offered to hand engrave names onto some of them.

Leaving behind one of my favorite shops so far in Japan we kept heading up the hill towards Kogan Falls, which a short time later led us out onto a two story platform 100m up above a crashing, thundering waterfall. The waterfall is surrounded by dozens of souvenir and food shops but the best souvenir we could find was hidden behind some drink vending machines on the side of a building, 430 yen ($5) goes in and 1 customised stamped metal Kogan Falls coin comes out. It was highly enjoyable watching the machine rotate the coin then start hammering with very loud bangs the message you chose to put on the coin.

Leaving the falls we walked back through town to the frigid cold lake and the neighbouring shrine then headed back to town to catch the bus back over the mountain towards Nikko. However just before we got on the bus Giulietta and I noticed Morgan staring down between a railing and not moving, curious we walked over to see what got his attention to find sitting on the other side of the fence less than a metre away was a little monkeys, so as you can guess... PHOTOS!!, unfortunately the one photo I really wanted to get I just missed as Morgan got chased away by the monkey.

We got on our bus but got off a few stops early and headed for the popular temples and shrines which cover the mountainside. One building I was very happy to see was the gilded 5 story pagoda (basically a large multi level tower). We stayed out walking around till around 5:30pm when we decided to walk back to town where we saw some of our friends from back in Tokyo who were unfortunately heading back to the train station to go back to Tokyo after a day trip in Nikko. We headed to our favourite restaurant to eat dinner then headed off home to transfer over 700 photos onto the computer and to charge our cameras before having a hot bath and falling asleep.
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heather on

Nikko is one of my favourite places. There was a coffee shop with a second hand shop attached. There was so much stuff that you couldn't get in without moving things around. It was the most unusual shop I have every been in.

When will you put up your pictures? I can't wait

Petri on

Just think it's wonderful to read about your travels. Keep it up.Enjoy as you will have many special memories. Petri

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