Friday, November 03, 2006

#184 Day 3: Nikko to Nasu

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The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 3: Nikko to Nasu
Distance: 155 kms

In Nikko we had delicious curry for dinner and stayed in Hotel Viva Nikko.
It got points for being clean and spacious. And for the coffee in the lobby.
And I liked this poetic English: Please don’t smoke while strolling about the ryokan.
The only minus points were for the internet only being available in the lobby. And paper cups. I like glass.
Three stars.

The next day we did some sightseeing in Nikko. It was really beautiful.
It was really crowded because it’s a long weekend. Today is a national holiday called “bunka no hi” (culture day).

We went to Toshogu shrine. 1300yen. Mmm expensive.

We saw the horse. Its name is Koha. I wasn’t that impressed with the New Zealand government for sending this horse to Japan to stand here and have people take photos of it.

This is Tokugawa Ieyasu’s grave.
This is something he said just before he died: Life is like traveling along a long road with a heavy weight on your back so you shouldn’t hurry.
And this is a famous sleeping cat.
I bought an omikuji. I got kichi which means good, but not great.
It was pretty long so I couldn’t be bothered reading it – but it probably said I’m going to have a great life.

After Nikko the plan was to go to an onsen that we’d been to before. We went there once after snowboarding and really liked it.
We drove along some mountain roads and got kind of lost.
The scenery was really beautiful.

We eventually found the onsen. It’s called Tanakaya. It’s an outdoor pool by a river. To get to it you have to walk down 300 steps.
It’s a mixed onsen, so I could see lots of naked boys. It was quite exciting.

#183 Day 2: Oyama to Nikko

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 2: Oyama to Nikko
Distance: 73 kms

As I said yesterday, the hotel we stayed in wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t too good either though. Especially in the light of day.
We stayed in room 508 of the Hotel New Kashiwa, which is just across from Oyama station. The room cost 9660 yen.
There were holes in the shoji paper and in the fusuma, cigarette burns on the bed and it wasn’t very clean.
There were only good things about this hotel.
We could use the net in our room and the speed was pretty good. And the staff were nice. Two stars.

After we checked out, we left Oyama. We drove for a while and then found a nice park to have lunch in.
We made some coffee and had some of the chocolate that Lena gave us when we left Tokyo. Mmm delicious German chocolate.

After lunch we drove to Nikko. We saw this big daruma on the way. It was protecting truck drivers.

We arrived in Nikko around 3 and found a hotel. Nikko is a popular tourist destination so there are a lot of souvenir shops.
A lot of the shops were selling yuba.
We bought some hot yuba mangu ... and ate it in the street. It was delicious.

We walked around a bit more and bought some yuba snacks and some Nikko beer.

I found some excellent strange English in the supermarket: In a shoplifter, the police is notified.

I’ve been to Nikko once before, I remember seeing a horse inside a shrine that was a present to Japan from the New Zealand government. I thought that was kind of bizarre. So, tomorrow I’m going to see if it’s still there.