I went to Nikko(日光) last week. Nikko is in Tochigi Prefecture, it takes around 2hrs or 2hrs 30min by train from Asakusa station.
It’s a high season of the leaves turn red(紅葉), and I want to have the experience of Nikko in autumn. So it was decided very quickly, and it’s a little bit hard to book a room actually. All the cheapest hostel/guesthouse/hotel are booked.
On Wednesday(24th), I woke up early than usually. Because I knew, I need and must to take the train from Asakusa Station at 9:10. Otherwise, I need to pay more for my transportation.
I arrived Asakusa station around 8:45, and went to Tobu Information Center to buy “All Nikko Pass“. This pass can use for 4 days, included round way from Asakusa to Nikko, plus all the bus you can take at Nikko, and just cost 4400yen.
Wait! Maybe you think it’s not so cheap… But when you know, you have to take a bus about 40-50min and it cost over 1000yen for one way, then you will understand how cheap it is.
After about 2 hrs train, finally I arrived Nikko! I don’t know anything, just follow people and got on one of the bus in front of Nikko station, and the bus took me to my first place.
Bus service is really good! They provide 4 languages(Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean) on the bus, and with screen, you won’t get off at the wrong stop if you don’t speak any Japanese.
If you are planning to see the shrines and temples, then I recommend you to buy the combine ticket as the photo below.
This ticket is valid for 2 days, but each place only allow to enter for just one time. The entrance fee is request almost everywhere. If you have the ticket, it’s much cheaper! But some parts are not include in, ex. Sleepy Cat(Neko, in Japanese) at Tosho-gu(東照宮).
I took this photo where near Rinnoji Temple. The leaves here are not ready yet, you can see from this photo, it’s just a few turned red.
After a slow walk, and have a very nice relaxing time here. It’s time to have a lunch!
The place, 精進料理「堯心亭（ぎょうしんてい）」, where I went for lunch also very popular! They are the only one place, provide the food what monks can eat when they are doing practice Buddhist rules.
As I said, this place is very popular, if just go there without reservation, then need to wait a while. I went there with no knowledge, just stood there till the old ladies, whom are wait in line, tole me that I need to ring the bell. The bell also impress me! I won’t tell you how it looks like, just give you the hint of need to ring it three times!
After that, they asked my name and told me, have to wait at least 30min. Sure! It’s so popular, of course I would love to wait for this big meal.
They have many meal courses and lunch set. The price of courses are from 3990yen~, and tax is not include in. And for the lunch set, the price is around 3000yen as well.
The one I ordered, was course. The photo below is the first they served me.
The total dishes they served, it’s around 10 dishes. They always know the timed and collect my bowl which I finished and serve me new one.
The last dish is dessert and tea. I have a great time and very enjoyed my time there.
Japanese style house with tatami and with Japanese style decorations. There are a few big slide doors or it’s just window(!?) I’m not really sure, but you can see the garden side when you are having your meal.
After my big meal, time to go my next place where I planned to go. From all the guide book of other information, it said, about 40min by bus. The bus driver was ask all the passengers to go to restroom first. He said, it may take about 2hrs instead of 40min.
I slept and woke up quite many times, and looks like we haven’t move for a while. So I took this photo.
And, guess how long it takes actually?
After got on the bus and traffic jam, it took about 3hrs! And finally, I arrived this place, Ryuzu no taki(waterfall). This place is one of the place, the leaves are red. Due to arrive there late, I only can take few photo before the sky getting dark.
I just stayed there about 10min, I guess. Then back to bus stop, wait for the bus down to Chuzenji-ko(lake), also the place I will stay.
I totally late for my check in, so I called them before when I was waiting for the bus. And when I arrive the Chuzenji-ko bus station, it was really really dark and cold
I have no idea about where the guesthouse is, and trying to ask the staff in the bus station. They told me it’s about 20min walk and there is no light. They recommend me to contact the guesthouse again.
I did, and the Obasan(old lady), come to pick up me at the bus station. I was so happy!!! It’s really hard to imagine how cold it is after the sun gone…
The Obasan is so friendly, and lead me to my room. I’m so happy when she turned on the heater when we just enter to the room.
WOW~ tatami room for only me~!!
I saw other room when their door was open, the one just nearby my room is much bigger than mine, but there is a 7-8people group used.
This guesthouse provide everyone Yukata, you can wear it after bath/shower.
I have my dinner first, when I saw it, I’m very surprise! This kind of dinner only appear on TV drama, can’t believe that I can have one!
All the guests whom stayed there are very friendly, when they know I’m not Japanese and traveling alone, they start to talk more to me.
It was too dark when I arrived. When I woke up, I saw this view, it’s worth! I have a such good view from my room, like a dream!
Breakfast start around 6:30-7:00. I thought, it will like the dinner, they probably will give me a call and tell me the meal is ready. But it hasn’t. I wait till 7:00 then went to the place where we have meal(I don’t know how to call this place in English, it’s not kitchen and also not restaurant, it’s just the space/room for have meal). Almost all the guests are having their breakfast there, I’m kind of late… 😛
When I enter to the room, all the dishes are set up on my table already. This seat was where I sat last night.
Obasan said Good morning to me, then enter to the kitchen side, prepare more dishes for me. Like rice, egg & ham, and soup. You can see the photo below, with a lot of dishes as the dinner.
Check out is before 10:00. There is no internet, nothing can do there. After breakfast, I decided to go out and take more pictures!
Only during the day time, can see how beautiful where I stayed. Red leaves around that area and the lake side. Very nice and beautiful.
From my camera, it’s hard to take the picture as what I saw. Sorry, please try to use your imagination, to imagine the the color.
This is the only direction I have to walk, to the Chuzenji-ko bus station. Country side view, love it so much!
After Chuzenji-ko bus station, just 5min walk, then can arrive another famous waterfall, Kegon no taki.
There is no other way can down to the bottom of the waterfall, only by the elevator, which cost 530yen for round way.
Staff said, only can see the rainbow when it’s a good weather!
From my photo, you can see the rainbow, how lucky I was!
After the waterfall, I got on the bus to go down from the mountain side. It took only 30min, not as the day before(3hrs).
I got off from bus at Tamozawa bus stop, went to The Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park by mistake. I thought it’s included in my combine ticket(I was wrong!), I tried to enter with my ticket, but the doorman stop me. He is an old man, very kindly and explained me everything in English, his English is good actually, he impressed me as well!
OK! Since I came here by mistake, and I heard from the doorman, he said, this place was an Imperial House. Well, I love to see this kind of stuff, so I decided to buy a ticket, and see what’s inside.
Japanese style house and very big, with very nice Japanese garden. It was not so many tourists at first, so I took quite many good pictures. After about 20min, many Japanese tourist come… Getting crowded in the big house, and everywhere.
By the way, the photo below is switches on the wall, I don’t know what this for, but can see it’s for each different room.
After the Imperial house, I back to my combine ticket trip. The first stop was Futarasan Shrine! This shrine is mainly for people who would like to have a good relationship with someone or want to meet a good person for the future life or get marry something…
The famous Tosho-gu, just near by Futarasan Shrine. More tourists then everywhere in Nikko.
The famous sculpture of Three Monkeys: “See no evil”, “hear no evil”, and “speak no evil”.
If you are lucky, you can see there is a horse, The Scared Horse, live in there.
I went there around noon time, and took only 2 pictures. After that, the staff close the door and after about one hour something, still closed.
Well, there is a schedule of the Scared Horse. Please check it before you go, if you would like to see this Scared Horse.
After Tosho-gu, I done all the places where I planned to go, and saw what I planned to see. It’s time to have a lunch, or just take a train back to Tokyo.
I spent a lot of money in Nikko, was thinking, maybe I should buy a bento box and eat on the train. But I didn’t, because I saw a restaurant on the way back to the station, they serve the local food (the one similar to what I had for lunch yesterday, called “Yuba”). I don’t know when I will visit Nikko again, that’s why I have this photo below. This meal is cheaper, just 1600yen. And the food is very delicious too!
After lunch, I’m very happy. This trip is worth for me even spent the money over budget. I got 2 relaxing days and had many delicious meals.
The train back to Tokyo was Limited Express, need to plus 1300yen. At that time, they still have normal train running before 18:00, I took this one just because I want to have an experience of this limited train.
Nice seat and faster than normal train. They sell some food and drinks on the train too (no service on normal train, you know!).
YES! Can see Tokyo Sky Tree! They have some introduce of Tokyo Sky Tree when the train approached to Tokyo Sky Tree Station.
Well, very nice trip with very nice ending. If you would like to have an adventure, then just do it! You will gain a nice experience and have a really good time to enjoy your trip.
YADOYA Guesthouse for Backpackers Tokyo:
*Dorm bed only 2200yen/night, Private 3,500yen～, cheapest hostel in west Tokyo, Nakano.
YADOYA Guesthouse Tokyo for long stay:
bed only 40,000yen/month(including utilities), private room from
43,000yen/month. It`s nice to live in Nakano, and we support your Tokyo