Going to Nikko

Three days off and taking our time to drive up to Nikko. Japanese freeways charge tolls and personally I find them really boring, so we decided to go the complicated way, via the country roads. I love driving this way and to see life outside the tourist destinations. Not easy to take pictures from a moving car, and as roads are rather narrow and often with no hard shoulder, it’s hard to stop.
There are endless kilometers of rice paddies, amazing houses, both new and old, and the people. I truly enjoy watching people go about their daily business.

Nikko is about half way between Narita and Fukushima (I think everyone knows or knows about Fukushima since the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011). Just 134KM from Nikko to Fukushima,if the internet is correct.

A little worrying after what happened last year and we did do some research on radiation danger. Not so much for me, I’m convinced when it’s your time, you’ll go, and therefore I live life by the day, at times dangerously, and always to the fullest, well at least I did till The Smurg was born.
A child very much changes that attitude, or mellows it. Now I need to be here as The Smurg needs me.
But research shows that within weeks the level of radiation within the area was minimal and a lot lower than is the daily norm in many other countries.
Still there is an 80KM exclusion zone in place around Fukushima itself.

The day was dreary, but I got my fill of true Japanese life and at the end we drove past an amazing buddha carved wall, but more on that once we visit and check out what and how and such.

When we arrived in Nikko it was late in the afternoon, so we decided to do a drive up the mountain to Lake Chuzenji. 1,269 m (4,124 ft) above sea level it was created when Mt. Nantia erupted about 20.000 years ago and blocked the flow of the Yukawa.

The way up, and down from the lake is a one way road system (you go up one side, and down another), and gives some amazing views of the valley below, or the mountain, if like us you arrive while it’s raining and overcast

The lake itself was calm, and luckily the clouds decided to retreat a little and give us a wonderful view of it.

Although beautiful, it was nothing compared to the privilege to see two Japanese macaque (see HERE, read this they are truly amazing primates, even jumping into hot springs together and making snowballs for fun) on our way down.

They where sitting on the guard rail, we stopped to admire them and take a few pictures. The Smurg now has a new favorite animal, monkeys. She was thrilled, and I, I was so touched that she should have this experience of seeing such an amazing animal in its natural environment.

On our way down to our hotel, not even the beautiful landscape could get me out of the ohhh and ahhhh mood of this experience. Looks as if the Mountain Kamii where with us




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chook Lady
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 00:23:32

    I wish I could be there with you; bushwacking on rural roads is the best! Good for you guys.


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