Nikko is a city in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, famous for several well-known shrines and temples. 2 shrines and 1 temple are collectively a UNESCO world heritage site.
At Tobu Nikko Station. In early December, there was still a surprising amount of fall foliage to be seen.
The first stop on my World Heritage tour was Rinnoji temple.
Outside Rinnoji temple.
Rinnoji temple is currently being restored, so there is a plastic shell with a picture of what the temple will look like covering the real temple. You can still go inside during restoration.
More pictures after the jump (more…)
I was in Tokyo last month for 10 days. For the first 3 days, I was in Chiba city near Makuhari Messe, a big convention center. It was a nice change to be in a big city for a bit. Here are some pictures of the city, night and day.
Chiba city at night
Chiba city during the day.
Nikko (日光) is a town in Tochigi prefecture, a little ways North of Tokyo. It is famous for it’s shrines and temples, which are supposed to look especially beautiful when the autumn leaves change color (紅葉). The area is a UNESCO world heritage site. But what does this have to do with Takayama?
Takayama also has Nikko, in miniature. Takayama has a small museum with a 1/10th scale version of the shrines and temples of Nikko. The museum is pretty much one large room, with the building models spread out throughout the room. The lighting in the room slowly cycles to simulate daylight, sundown, nighttime, sunrise, and daylight again.
Some of miniature Nikko
Looks like the sun might be going down now
The chinese characters that spell the name Nikko (日光) mean sunlight.
Last set of pictures from Yokohama Chinatown for the Chinese lunar new year.
Steamed buns. Delicious.
Night falls on a chinatown side street.
exhibit set up for the new year
Chinatown gate illuminated at night. The gate says chinatown (中華街) but it's written right to left, instead of left to right as Japanese would normally be written on a gate. Chinese also would normally be left to right I think...but I'm not sure.
delicious moon cake that I ate the next day. yummy! It says Chestnut on it because it had chestnuts inside.
More pictures from my trip to Yokohama’s Chinatown for Chinese New Year.
Lanterns at the temple. People were streaming in and out of the temple. And buying incense to light.
Bubble Tea, called Tapioca Milk Tea in Japanese. And known to me as Boba, as it's called on the West Coast in California. It's so difficult to find Bubble Tea in Japan, so I was excited to have some. It's something I've been missing.
A honey store. They only sold honey, with many different varieties.
Another elaborate gate
For the Chinese Lunar New Year, I went with some friends to Chinatown, in Yokohama, one of 3 Chinatowns in Japan. (From what I hear, there’s the Yokohama Chinatown, Kobe Chinatown and Nagasaki Chinatown.) Each Chinatown holds a festival, but unfortunately we were there the day before it started, so we didn’t really get to experience it. Also, besides stores selling Chinese style food and souvenirs, I was surprised by the number of places I found selling things like dream catchers and we even found a store that only sold various kinds of honey.
One of the Chinatown Gates
Culture Clash. A child poses in front of a statue of Hello Kitty in a Panda suit
Gate to a temple
Temple decked out in lanterns
Kawagoe City is known as Little Edo. When I went there, I got lost and couldn’t find the street of Edo era architecture, but I did stumble upon a temple, see a river, and see rice fields. It was very different from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. A friend is visiting this weekend and I wanted to make sure she didn’t only see the busy streets of Tokyo while she’s in Japan. She took some of these pictures.
At Myosiji Temple
At Myosoji temple
Another view of the river
Laundry hung out to dry on a balcony