Golden Week 2015 Part 2: Tochigi

Continuing from my previous post, I left the hotel on the morning of 2nd May to take a train from Takasaki Station in Gunma Prefecture, to Nikko Station in Tochigi.

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Here’s a pic of Tochigi Station I took before transferring to another train.

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I decided to buy an express ticket to save about an hour of travel time. If you don’t understand Japanese it’s a bit challenging because some express trains require a separate express ticket to board, and some have designated seats. I guess you could try and hitch a ride by hiding in the compartments between train carriages like I saw some Caucasian dudes do.

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I snapped a pic of the express train as it arrived. It seems like most express services use unique train models.

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I reached Nikko Station in about 2 hours. It was around 11am then but the place was insanely crowded.

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Like so. There was a traffic jam all the way uphill. It was so bad I was told it was faster to just walk to the attractions rather than take a bus.


I think I walked for about half an hour to reach the area with the temples and shrines. At the entrance was the Shinbashi above.


I went to Rinnoji but most of the exterior facade was closed due to restoration work.


Like so.

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That didn’t stop the crowds from coming though.


I left the polarizing filter on my camera and it interacted with the filter on the window.

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Next was Toshogu Shrine which was also packed.


A pic of the three monkeys which is supposedly famous.


Lots of flashy architecture.


Everyone was clamouring to get a picture of this sleeping cat. I later found out it apparently looks like it’s about to pounce on something when viewed from a different angle.


Just queuing up all the way up and down.

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On the way to Futarasan Shrine.

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Comparatively speaking there wasn’t as much to see here.

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Next was Taiyuin Temple.

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It has slightly less flashy buildings compared to Toshogu.


Some distance from the cluster of shrines and temples was the Tamozawa Imperial Villa.

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And further away was the Kanmangafuchi Abyss.

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It runs alongside a river.

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And there’s a line of stone statues.

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By then it was evening so I walked back to the hotel I was staying at.

The next day I took a bus early in the morning to go to Inner Nikko which has more natural attractions. I took the bus all the way to the furthest point and decided to go downhill from there.

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The bus goes uphill via the Second Irohazaka slope. The uphill and downhill routes are one-way. It was packed though so I couldn’t get any decent pictures.

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Chuzenji Lake.

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Senjogahara Marsh

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I alighted near Yudaki Waterfall. Here’s a picture from the viewing area at bottom.

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Then I climbed up the steps to take a few more pictures from the top.

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Walking a bit from the top I reached Yumoto Lake. Then I decided to go the next location downhill, but due to the traffic jam uphill, all the buses were badly delayed. I had to wait about an hour.


Nonetheless I alighted at my next location which was Ryuzu no Taki which translates to “Dragon Head Waterfall”.


Again I stupidly walked uphill to get pictures from the top.

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The waterfall got its name because it supposedly looked like a dragon head. Then I waited an hour again for the bus to go downhill to Kegon Waterfall.


Forked out money to take the elevator down to the viewing area.


After exiting the elevator, you had to walk down a tunnel.

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To see this.

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Rock wall to the right.

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Seeing as the road downhill would be horribly jammed by the late afternoon I decided to head back. The downhill route is the same as the one that appears in Initial D (Third Stage I think) where Takumi battles Team Emperor and the jumping MR2. This also meant I wouldn’t be able to stop and see the Akechidaira Plateau and ropeway I went by on the way up.

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Endless hairpin turns. IMG_5640

Reaching the finish.

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I got myself a little bit of something haha.

I’m not sure whether to write about my last day which I spent in Tokyo and Yokohama. Maybe I’ll leave it to Part 3.

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