Grace and I had a terrific time at Nikko on Monday!! I left the house at 6:30 AM to catch a train to Asakusa, where we caught the 8:00 AM limited express Kegon/Kinu to Nikko.
The woman at the information booth in the Tobu Asakusa station explained so much stuff that I was getting confused with so many options. There were lakes and waterfalls and shrines and hiking and buses etc. So we decided to just hit the shrine area, and if we had time, go to the lake.
Good call, because it took PLENTY of time walking around the shrine area. Plus, the bus from Nikko station to the Chuzenji lake would take ANOTHER HOUR. Maybe it’d be good for an overnight trip, but we didn’t have time or energy.
So Grace and I went to buy a ticket to enter a shrine, and the guy at the booth said, “Oh you should buy the all-inclusive ticket because it turns out to be cheaper. It’s 1300 to get into the Toshogu alone, but the all-inclusive ticket is 1000 yen.
We were like, “uh okay, where do I get it?” and he said, “go up the hill.” So we did. We saw two ticket counters. TO the left, there were dozens of people waiting on line or loitering, waiting for friends to finish buying. Oh the right, there was NOBODY. o_O;; SO we went to the left and asked for the all-inclusive ticket . The lady said, “That’s over there.” o_O’;; So we went to the right. And asked for the all-inclusive ticket. After we paid, I said, “So this ticket is a better deal, right?” She said, “Oh yes, that’s right.” “So WHY IS EVERYBODY OVER THERE?” She leaned forward and said in a low conspiritual voice, “Because so many people don’t do their research and don’t know about this discount ticket! :D”
I liked the Toshogu shrine, where the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu was entomed in an octogonal bronze urn.
I loved the moss on all the rocks, walls, trees, stones, buildings, etc! I love it because it looks like a solid green carpet or cover, but up close, they’re little tiny plants, filled with life. It’s also soft. XD I like petting it.
We saw the money carvings, the blessed horses, Sunset gate, the nemuri-neko gate, etc. We saw Taiyuin, Mausoleum of Iemitsu, Ieyasu’s grandson, Rinnoji Temple, Futarasan shrine (dedicated to Nikko’ sacred mountains, founded by a Buddhist monk.) I think it was those that had the three giant statues of Buddha.
Here’s my video blog of it, for those who’ve missed it!