Today left Asakusa to go to Nikko, a 2 hour journey from Tokyo into the mountains by the Tobu Skytree line. As we intended to go see the Kegon no taki (one of Nikko’s most beautiful waterfalls) we decided to get the discount travel pass which worked out a lot cheaper than buying the individual fares.

We got the 9:10 rapid line and it was packed the entire journey (we arrived at the station ten minutes before the train was due to leave and there was already a long queue). For most of it we had to stand in the crowded car which was reminiscent of London and not my favourite part of the journey!

Nikko - a town covered in snow
Nikko – a town covered in snow

When we arrived in Nikko at around 11:20 I was really excited. One thing I wanted to see was mountains and what I hadn’t realised was Nikko was the gate city to the mountains. At 530m above sea level it was a lot cooler than Tokyo. We took the bus 2b towards Chizuenji and thats when I realised that unlike the map that is flat, our destination was not. Chizuenji is high up in the mountains, 1270m above sea level and sitting in what is known as the Okunikko region. We took the Irohazaka winding road going up and the photo does not do the height justice. If you have a fear of heights I would suggest not to sit by the window as the bus goes right to the edge of the cliff face with just a small metal barrier between it and the drop. I found it exciting and a thrilling (slightly scary) surprise. As we climbed it got colder and started to snow and by the time we got off the coach I was freezing and so grateful for my mountain fleece (I should have bought two!)

The road to Chizuenji through the mountains
The road to Chizuenji through the mountains

Whilst here we headed over to Kegon no Taki falls. This place is what places like Skyrim and Final Fantasy is based on. It’s beautiful, and somewhat otherworldly as it is so different from anything you would find in England.

Kegon no Taki waterfall in Chizuenji, Okunikko
Kegon no Taki waterfall in Chizuenji, Okunikko

As it’s quite early (5.30am) I need to get a little more sleep before we head to the anime fair today. So here are a few more images from Nikko. I’ll try and fill it out more later.

small cafe in Chizuenji near Kegon no Taki
Small cafe in Chizuenji near Kegon no Taki where we had a hot chocolate before heading out into the bitter cold weather and snow.
Inside one of the shrines near Nishisando
Inside one of the shrines near Nishisando
near Nishisando
one of the many places we visited in Nikko
Toshogu Inner Shrine Entrance
Toshogu Inner Shrine Entrance