misty monkeys

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Our time in Tokyo was quite short because one of the days was dedicated to a day trip out to Nikko. It was out at Nikko that we saw the 17th Century carvings above a doorway of the three wise monkeys. You can imagine our excitement to be able to see this – this is what we were all about ūüôā There were lots of statues on sale so we of course had to pick some up for our collection.

The National Park (albeit the tourist crowds) was still a peaceful place to wander around and see the temples and carvings. There were a lot of steps and also relatively slippery as it had rained the night before and was still drizzling occasionally.

As we travelled to Nikko, we were meant to view Kegon Waterfall however due to the fog, we could only hear it and not see it when we arrived. It was a bit of a shame as we enjoy viewing waterfalls. Similarly, we enjoy lakes and photographing lakes. And that is where we had lunch – at Lake Chuzenji. The food was magnificent and the view of the lake from the restaurant was spectacular, especially watching the mist travelling low and across the water. Within minutes the lake was shrouded by “white smoke” and our view of the lake was no more.

View monkey gallery for more pictures of our collection and view more pictures from our trips in Photo Gallery

Three wise monkeys carving
Three wise monkeys carving

sumo finals

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We have been dreaming about going to Japan for ages and we were finally doing it. We also LOVE Japanese food so were very much looking forward to 2 weeks of it. We had decided to do the Bunnik Tour Рit appeared well organised and the itinerary was exactly what we were after. We arrived in Tokyo and the city is so fast paced and busy yet very civilised. Bright lights, lots of traffic and  extremely polite people. Our first touristy thing was visiting Edo-Tokyo Museum and it was there that we met this fit and lively 88-year-old man who was there with his grandson and wanted to practice his English with us. So after we exchanged a few sentences and pleasantries, we parted ways only to bump into one another again about half an hour later. And he had purchased us a lucky cat charm as a gift. It was a very humbling experience. It pretty much set the mood for the rest of the stay in Tokyo.

Sumo ceremony
Sumo ceremony

We had also arranged to get Sumo wrestling tickets separate to the tour and the only day we were able to get tickets were for the biggest event – ¬†the Sumo Final Day. Nothing bad or inconvenient about that at all! We were so fortunate to be able to watch several matches and although have no idea of the rules, cheered when the crowd cheered and clapped when the crowd clapped. To top off our Sumo finals experience, we had arranged to meet really good friends who were in Japan the same time as us. We booked Gonpachi for dinner which is the restaurant that inspired the restaurant scene in the movie “Kill Bill” – very very cool.

Gonpachi - "Kill Bill" restaurant
Gonpachi – “Kill Bill” restaurant

And who says Japan is expensive? It’s far from it! The food is so unbelievably cheap and if you like sushi train – you can indulge in sushi for only about $10 (admittedly, we did have a great exchange rate).

View more pictures from our trips in Photo Gallery