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Tag Archives: Shibuya

We were up early because we had to catch the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station on our way to Nikko. Our goal for the day was to tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples in Nikko Japan Since it is easy to get lost in Tokyo Station we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to find the train. Turned out we had problems finding the train with all of the construction going on in the station. We finally found the correct platform and then had to wait for our train.

To get from Tokyo to Nikko, we had to take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station Utsunomiya; then, take the JR Nikko Line to Nikko Station. This was all on our JR Pass.

When we arrived at Nikko Train Station we had to decided to take a bus up the mountain or walk. We decided to walk.

This the center of town.

On our walk we passed a fire station where they were holding a drill.

Nikko is a big tourist destination and there were plenty of things to buy.

We encountered some construction. As is normally the case there were plenty of people available to make sure we got through the construction area without any problems.

Beautiful fall colors in front of a grand building.

By the time we reached our destination it was almost noon so we decided to stop and get a bite to eat before start touring the Shrines and Temples. It turned out to be a good decision because by the time we got our food the place was packed. My wife had to visit the bathroom and she wished se had taken her camera. She needed a tour guide to find it winding through the building and up a narrow stairs.

We had our usual noodles for lunch.

After lunch we walked back to the Shinkyo Bridge which crosses the Daiya River and is the entrance to the Nikko Shrines and Temples. For a small fee you can walk across the bridge. We had an interesting exchange with some Japanese tourists at the Bridge. I always ware my Green Bay Packers hat when I travel. Some Japanese tourists started chanting “go pack go” but one of them opened his jacket and displayed a San Francisco 49ers pin. Funny we should loose to them in the playoffs.

Linda at the Nikkozan Rinnoji Temple and checking the map to see where we wanted to go next.

There were some beautiful fall colors as we walked past Daigomado.

Toshogu Gojunoto was an impressive building.

Our next stop was the Futarasan jinja Shrine area.

We walked past Jogyodo where we paid our fee to enter another group of shrines.

Beautiful color on the walk to the Niomon Gate.

The Niomon Gate was a very impressive structure and gave a hit of what we would find beyond it.

We found this trough which brought water to a chozubachi from a spring in the hill.

The Japanese will go to great lengths to save a tree.

We arrived at Thu Thuy Xa  before walking up the steps to Rinoji Taiyuin Nitenmon.

Rinoji Taiyuin Nitenmon had some very impressive carvings.

Our last stop on the shrines and temple tour was Karamon Gate. This was a beautiful complex.

As we were leaving the park we managed to get lost and ran across this beautiful little park are next to a parking lot.

On the way out to the park we noticed a tapioca truck parked along the street. I love tapioca so we watched for it on the way back to the train station. When we found it but it was not what we expected. I was tapioca pearls mixed in milk. They provided an extra large straw so we could suck the pearls out of the drink. We quickly realized we had a problem. This was the first thing we had purchased on the street that required us to dispose of something. In this case what do we do with the plastic cup and straw. There are almost no trash cans or recycling cans on the streets. In this case since we bought it we had to carry it out. It’s always good to carry a plastic bag in your pack so you can carry disposables home to recycle them.

It was late in the day when I took this last shot from Nikko before we boarded the train to return to Tokyo.

We had one other event planned for the day. We met Justin, Carla and several other friends in Shibuya for dinner.

After dinner we took the train back to Ookayama Station with Justin. I had noticed the calorie counter on he station steps on a previous visit and wanted to make sure to get a photo of it.

My wife an I stopped at the local grocery store and then walked back to our hotel and called it a day.

 

 

Our first objective of the day was to find Todoroki Valley Park. It is only a 20-minute train ride from Shibuya Station. This is a wild and untamed gorge, with a jungle-like canopy. It was forged by the Yazawa River as it heads for the larger Tama River and it is the only valley in Tokyo. A short 1.5 km walk along the river will bring you to a shrine and temple and small waterfalls.

More photos from the day can can be found on my website.

After walking a short distance we found this small bridge over the river. This lead to the Todoroki Valley Park Caves which were used as burial sites.

Retracing our steps we returned to the path along the river where we encountered a picturesque bridge which leads to the Chigo Daishi Mieido a small shrine that features a statue of Kobo Daishi. Fudo Waterfall is right beside the small shrine and originates from the mouths of two ornate dragons.

Following the steps leads to another small shrine.

Continuing up the steps leads to the Todoroki Fudosan Temple.

Chōzubachis, are used by worshipers for washing their left hands, right hands, mouth and finally the handle of the water ladle to purify themselves before approaching the main Shinto shrine temple.

There was a Chrysanthemum exhibit taking place at the temple including Bonsai  Chrysanthemums.

Walking back down to the Yazawa River we continued our river walk. We found a small Japanese Garden. Some of the trails were closed but we were able to walk through the garden and out of the gorge. On the way we found several small ponds a small bamboo forest, fruit trees and flowers.

There was a small gate at the top of the garden so we went through it and found ourselves in the Todoroki Fudo Children’s Park. We sat on a bench to change batteries in our camera and while we were doing so a group of small children on an outing showed up. The care takers had their hands full. As soon as they took the child out of the wagon the child was off and running or crawling.


We retraced our steps back to the train station and caught a train to Oimachi Station where we changed trains for Hamamatsucho Station and our destination which was Hamarikyu Gardens. The lines in the second photo tell riders where to stand when waiting for the train.

I found this giant spider along the sidewalk and it was close enough to get a good shot.

 

We had to walk a short distance from the train station to Hamarikyu Gardens. I took this photo because of the odd shape of the building. It looked like you could almost touch both walls at the same time. There was also garbage on the street. This is a very rare event in Tokyo. It looked like a bird might have gotten into the garbage. Normally garbage is covered with a net to prevent that from happening.

After a short walk we arrived at Hamarikyu Gardens. Many of the parks in Tokyo are free but most of the formal gardens have an entrance fee.

I believe this is part of the Sumida River with in the background.

As I recall this park was a villa for a feudal lord and this was his duck hunting blind. It was a very elaborate setup with everything choreographed to bring the ducks to the lord.

This park had some wildlife that I was able to photograph.

As we were wandering around we noticed this water bus leaving the dock so we walked over to see what was going on. Checking at the dock we discovered that water buses leave from the dock about every hour. Since we had not ridden a water bus we decided to walk around the park for a bit more then come back and take the water bus up the Sumida River to Asakusa.

Everyone was in line early hoping to get a good seat but as it turned out there were not all that many people on the bus.

In order to get out to the Sumida River we had to go through a set of locks.

These are some of the sights along the river on the way to Asakusa.

It looked like most of the bridge crossing the river were under construction or renovation. They must spend huge sums on infrastructure repair. Too bad this country can’t afford to fix out infrastructure.

Several couples in traditional costume were waiting for us when we docked in Asakusa.

A shot of Tokyo Skytree from the Asakusa docks.

We saw more people dressed in traditional costumes as we walked over to Sensō-ji.

We were looking for a McDonald’s for some ice cream and coffee and we found in in a shopping area.

Just across the street I notice a shop that was renting out traditional costumes. This is near Sensō-ji where we also saw quite a few people dressed in native costumes.

We then took a train over to Shibuya where we wandered around some fancy shopping centers while we waited for our son to finish work.

We then took the train to Ebisu and walked down to Specialized Group where he was just finishing up work.

We all caught a train to his apartment where we watched the Green Bay Packer Game. After the game Justin an Carla took us to dinner at a local restaurant just down the street.

We then headed back to our hotel which was about a 15 minute walk from his apartment.