Welcome back to part two of our trip to Nikko! After our morning explorations of the shrines and our hot noodle-bowl lunch, we made our way to my favorite part of the trip, the Kanmangafuchi Abyss. The “abyss” is a gorge with a stream flowing through it, and a path has been created beside the gorge so that people can walk along it and enjoy the scenery. It was quiet and peaceful, with very few tourists, and the beauty of the stream was amazing.
Before we got to the stream, there was a row of Jizo, which are a type of Buddhist statue. They are often dressed in red bibs.
We then made our way through the woods along the gorge. There was a gorgeous crystal-clear stream, and this small waterfall:
We explored some of the paths leading away from the gorge as well, and found a cemetery. Some of the monuments were overgrown with lichens:
Next, we visited the Shinkyo Bridge. I heard somewhere, although I don’t know how true it is, that it’s the most photographed bridge in Japan. So what did we do? Why, took pictures of it, of course!
And that’s why they say, “Don’t say kekkou…until you’ve been to Nikko.” (“Kekkou” in Japanese means “satisfied” or “wonderful.”) The ancient architecture, calming nature, and picturesque scenery in Nikko means you haven’t truly lived until you’ve been there. Or so say the people who are trying to persuade you to visit. 🙂 It’s true that it is a beloved tourist spot in Japan, and I saw many foreigners there from all over the world. It was definitely worth at least a day trip. And now, I can say that I’m satisfied!
We headed home in late afternoon, via a local train and then the shinkansen, or bullet train. While we were waiting for our own (not very fast) shinkansen, we saw a couple of the really fast ones go by. I had never actually seen one of the super speedy ones, and I was shocked at how fast they went. I tried taking a video, and I still don’t think I was able to fully capture the speed. It was a take-your-breath-away type of speed. Each time one went by, I just stared after it in a state of shock.
Well, that finishes the tale of our trip to Nikko. See you next week!