Mid-November we took a fun little overnight trip to Nikko to see the autumn leaves. It's a small little town about two hours north of Tokyo and even though the leaves in Tokyo were just starting to change most of the leaves were already changed and gone in the National Park. We rode a bus that took us into the park and up the mountain. As we drove through town we saw wild monkeys climbing on the wires over the street. It was pretty neat. At the first stop we saw the most well known waterfall- Kegon no Taki.
After going to see the falls we walked around for a few minutes by Lake Chuzenji, but it was so windy and cold that it wasn't long before we got back on the bus to go further into the park.
We then stopped at Ryuzu Falls or the "Dragon's Head Waterfall." Cameron took about 10 pictures of Roderick and me, but between the two of us either blinking or not paying attention we couldn't get a good one, it was quite funny.
At one of the bus stops we got off to look around at a scenic plateau, but we started down the path and ended up at a random farm so we had to turn around.
Here's a photo of the plateau area after we went the right direction.
The last falls we saw was called Yudaki Falls. We were glad we rode to the top of the mountain because this was our favorite area. These falls were right in front of us and roared down pretty hard over the rocks. It was pretty and secluded and I liked that. I also saw a lot of trail heads that started here and it made me want to visit again and do more exploring.
After looking at the falls we turned around and I saw a few wild monkeys running across the path to the parking lot. We ran to catch up with them and watched them scurry up the hill.
It also started to snow while we were here and we took a little stroll through a little winter wonderland before catching our bus back down the mountain. We were pretty cold and it felt so good to get on a warm bus and just relax as we wove our way down the mountain and back into town.
The town is so small and quiet and closes down around dark so we were glad that the place we were staying was right downtown and near the train station because we were able to find a small Indian restaurant for dinner. We stayed in a traditional Japanese guesthouse with a shared bathroom, tatami mats on the floor and a shoji door. This is the first time that I've ever stayed in a guesthouse or hostel-type place and I thought it turned out pretty great!
The next morning we visited all the UNESCO heritage sites around Nikko. There were still some pretty leaves around there. The three main temples are Toshogu, Rinnoji, and Futarasan and we visited all three before catching our train back to Tokyo.
The panel on the building behind us is of monkeys doing the "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
He just keeps looking more and more grown up.
These rocks looked like turtles and there were several around the temples so Roderick wanted to touch them.
We called this a Samurai and did our best warrior faces.
Roderick loved Nikko and even though it has been weeks, he still randomly brings up Nikko all the time. I think it's definitely on our list of places for a return visit in the future. Oh what fun!