Nikko Toshogu shrine (Tōshō-gū,東照宮)

The Nikko Toshogu shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu (there are many Toshogu shrines in Japan, all dedicated to him) but Ieyasu’s remains are entombed in Nikko. One of the most popular element of this shrine is perhaps the three wise monkeys’s sculpture which symbolise “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.

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Climbing Mount Fuji by the Yoshida trail

We climbed Mount Fuji by the Yoshida trail which starts from the city of Fujiyoshida on August 27th, the day after the Mount Fuji fire festival. After riding up the Mount Fuji toll road by car we were at the 5th station and ready to start climbing at 5 AM. The climb was steep all the way but posed no major difficulty. The presence of switchbacks all the way to the summit make the climb achievable to novice mountain climbers. I strongly advise to cover up with clothes and hat and to put plenty of sunscreen. I went up “gaijin style” and ended up with severe sunburns all over. Let me tell you that it was very painful at the Onsen afterwards! We came back to the 5th station and to the car in the middle of the afternoon but I suggest to novice climbers to have a night at the lodges along the way, it must definitely add to the experience to stay a night on Mount Fuji!


Gaijin-San's theater

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Meiji Shrine with friends (Meiji Jingū,明治神宮)

The Meiji Jingu shrine, located in the heart of Tokyo, is dedicated to emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. There we met some long time friends of Ayako for a short visit of the shrine. The trip included a visit to a sacred well, which is known to make you famous if you put its picture on your cell phone, so there may be a line of Japanese waiting to take a shot!

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Nikko Shinkyo Bridge (shinkyō,神橋)

The Nikko Shinkyo Bridge is located at the entrance of the Shrine and Temple area, it is a very ancient bridge traditionally used by pilgrims to reach the shrines. For a small fee you can walk on the bridge if observing from afar is not satisfying enough.

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Nikko’s Tobu Station area

The Nikko Tobu station area is a lovely place with several shops but more importantly, it is where you can take various buses that will bring you to the Toshogu Shrine, Chuzenji lake and more… While you are there, why not also rent a yukata or a kimono?

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Sumida river in the morning. (Sumida-gawa,隅田川)

If you stay over the Taito/Asakusa area, take advantage of your jet-lag and go on this bridge very early in the morning. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Note that Asahi building and Tokyo tower are visible on some images!

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