Go to the Nature☺️

After almost a week in Tokyo, I was ready to get out of the city and into the countryside.

I took trains and buses, including two Shinkansens (bullet trains), to Nikko.

Bullet train (shinkansen)

Bullet train (shinkansen)

They’re super comfy – lots of leg room, seats that recline, and some of them have power outlets. I have the Japan Rail Pass, so my trip from Tokyo to Nikko was totally ‘free’. Without the JR, it would’ve cost around $50 one-way.

My hostel in Nikko was a tiny building with traditional Japanese design, called Nikko Guesthouse Sumica.

mi casa

mi casa

The owners were super friendly and invited me to a dinner the evening I got there for their friend, Tomoko, to celebrate her marriage. They have a friend who is a Chef, and he cooked the meal – it was delicious! They were all really sweet and funny; I was so grateful for their hospitality.

wonderful dinner

he’s showing us a picture of a pumpkin:)

 Here are some pictures of Nikko and the area…

Niko cemetery

Nikko cemetery

Nikko main street

Nikko main street

mountains

mountains

Shin-kyo bridge

Shin-kyo bridge

For the most part, I was a few weeks late to see the leaves changing colors, but there were still some bursts of red here and there😊

On the second day in Nikko, I went to Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji in Nikko National Park. It was freezing and windy, but it was totally worth the trip. I ‘hiked’ around the lake (not really hiking b/c it was all sidewalk), and I saw the womens marathon.

Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuzenji

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Kegon Falls

Kegon Falls

After two days in Nikko, I came to Kusatsu – that’s where I am now. Kusatsu has one of the three best hot springs in Japan, and it is really amazing. My hotel has six different baths – two are open air, and one is “with bubbles”. The town is hilly, with mountains in the background, and the hot spring water is running everywhere. There is a park up the hill, called Sainokawara Park, that has a lot of pools, one of which you can actually bathe in.

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it's cold out here, people!

it’s cold out here, people!

The town itself is the most unique town square I’ve ever seen. It has the ‘Yubatake’ at the center, which is the main source of hot spring water for Kusatsu (but it originates on the top of Kusatsu-Shirane mountain, which is an active volcano😁). The water comes out of the ground at 170*, and the wooden vessels carry it up to get cooled by the air before it is distributed to the onsens nearby. The water is super acidic (pH is around 2), which is why it’s good for skin conditions, arthritis, and other ailments. The wooden vessels are made of pinewood because apparently that is the best material to stand up against the great amount of acid in the water and not get destroyed within a few days!

yubatake in center of town

yubatake in center of town

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mineral salt deposits

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cute street

cute street

coffee!

coffee!

omg, this is a manhole cover❤️

omg, this is a manhole cover❤️

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I’ve been taking baths three times a day😍

kimono

kimono

I ventured up to see the Shirane Shrine, which is overlooking the town…

warding off evil!

warding off evil!

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Cool view from my room…

View out my window

View out my window

peace out….

bro, do you even lift

bro, do you even lift

Next Up: Hakone

10 Comments on “Go to the Nature☺️

    • haaha! it’s hard to find coffee here that isn’t instant coffee :/ same in Fiji! So, when I see the real stuff, i get a latte, cafe au lait, somethin STAT. they need to get their coffee games together! miss you, carney😘

      Like

    • thank u phyllis!! it’s been fun and interesting and quite an experience so far!

      Like

  1. Hi Stephanie – I got your info from Athene (who is now headed to a new cool job in Boston!) so now able to stay connected. I seriously love what you are doing. Stay strong and have fun – can’t think of a person more deserving for this experience than you my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

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