Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jan 2 - 日光市へ移動

It's not a productive day for photography, as most of the time was spent in traffic. Plus, the place I wanted to go was closed.

The morning was productive though. I went downstairs to the dining room at around 7:50am and found that breakfast, like yesterday, was going to start at 8:30am. So, I went out to the lake (Lake Yu 湯ノ湖) and took more photos.

I think I was lucky to capture the lake in the morning sun because I don't think I'll come here again for the rest of my trip.

Breakfast was similar to yesterday.

And here I was heading back to Nikko downtown, or the train station to be precise. As I had suspected, there's no bus access to my next hotel. It was a 15 minute walk from Nikko train station. The last 5 minutes were uphill. Here's a wonderful view on my way to the hotel.

The hotel was called Logettel St. Bois. I guess it's French. Later, the owner would tell me that her hotel was indeed frequented by the French.

Since check-in only started at 3pm, I dropped off my luggage and headed back to the train station area for lunch. I had yuba rice bowl with beef and egg.

In the afternoon, I wanted to go to Akechidaira (明智平), where there's another fantastic view of the Kegon Waterfall (see Dec 31 blog). However …… I hit a traffic jam!

A Japanese teacher once told us that New Year in Japan lasts for 3 days. Everyone heads to the Jinjya (神社) for peace and prosperity throughout the year. So, this long line of cars were all going to Toshogu (東照宮), the landmark in Nikko. What's supposed to be a 10 minute ride from the train station to Toshogu took more than 30 minutes!

Eventually, I arrived at Akechidaira. And here's an interesting side track. When I rang the bell for the stop, the bus driver asked me why I wanted to get off at Akechidaira. He said it's very windy there. I told him that I only wanted to take some pictures. Well, after I got off the bus, I immediately realized that I should have listened to him. It's EXTREMELY windy. Don't be fooled by the following picture.

Next, I found out that to get to the vista point for Kegon Fall, one needs to take the cable car. Given the weather condition, it's of course closed for today. Anyway, I managed to take the following picture amid the strong wind. The waterfall in this picture is not the Kegon Fall though.

Since the sun was already setting, I decided to return downtown and do some shopping instead. At a shop outside the train station, I saw a long line! It's selling something called "ageyubamanju" (あげゆばまんじゅう), or fried yuba bun (remember, yuba is a Nikko specialty and so it appears everywhere).

The inside was red bean paste. It's very very very delicious! No wonder there's a long line.

I walked back to the hotel, and they had my room ready. It's supposed to be a single room, but I've got unexpected company though.

Here's how the room looked like.

Dinner was 7pm. Here's the menu and the food.

Yet more yuba for the day. This was "nama yuba", or raw yuba (生ゆば).

And this was grilled iwana (岩魚) (the same fish I had the other day; see Dec 31 blog). I was already half way through when I remembered to take a picture.

Here's the soup. As you've probably noticed, the "clean soup" on the menu should read "clam soup" instead.

Desert was vanilla ice-cream with black pepper and red beans. It's very interesting that they put black pepper on top of the ice-cream. It's delicious though.

And here's a picture of the den just beside the dining room.

Still no Internet. There's a lot to upload when I return to Tokyo!

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