We have been buying breakfast foods from convience stores to save some money and we walked to the bus station for tourist information. They were very helpful and we got public bus tickets, expensive $20 (like everything else here) and rode out a half hour up a windy mountain road to Chuzen-ji Lake. From the bus stop we walked 300 meters to Kegon Falls, pretty nice as far as falls goes, similiar but not as nice as Akaka Falls, Hawaii... I'm just saying. Then we walked to the lake and was a little bummed out by the hiking trail options and it started to rain and neither one of us wanted to trek up a mountain
. We found some very good and cheap (by standards) meals at a restaurant with views of the mountain and lake. Time quickly escaped us so we headed back to the bus to go towards town again and got off at Shinyko Bridge. The bridge was one of my favorites, looked like a postcard with the mountains in the background and fog under the bridge. We ventured into some temples and shrines, we got a combined ticket for 1000Y otherwise most temples would have cost 1300Y each. The area has been designated a World Heritage Site. The most important and famous is the Toshogu Shrine, inside the gate is a horse stable with the three wise monkeys carved, hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. All the temples were very nice and not very crowded and they were surrounded by moss covered stone walls and fences.
We left Tokyo on a train, headed North 2 hours to Nikko. We walked the 20 minutes to our hostel, which is in the woods near a river and walking trails. We were going to stay a 3rd night but the lodge was booked up so we decided to plan out the rest of our trip and only stay 2 nights there.