Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nikko Japan Part 1: Tobu Premium

My guidebook said the best way to get from Tokyo to Nikko is the Tobu Free Pass. When I got to the station they were advertising the Premium Pass, which had to be even better.


Inquiring about the premium pass I asked the lady at the counter:

  • Me: “Excuse me. What is the Premium Pass?”
  • Lady: “Do you want the Premium Pass?”
  • Me: “What is it? What makes it premium?”
  • Lady: “Premium pass is veery special? Do you want Premium Pass?”
  • Me: “How much does it cost?”
  • Lady: <After thinking hard for about a minute> “Excuse me.”

Then she went to back and whispered with her colleagues for a while and pointed at me and finally the manager came out.

  • Manager: “Do you want Premium Pass?”
  • Me: “Yes.” <I think this is right answer.>
  • Manager: “I’m sorry. We don’t have Premium Pass!”

So I was on my way with the normal pass


Nikko is one of the most popular tourist sites in Japan because of the shrines, waterfalls, and nature. When you get off the train, it is about a mile walk up to where the shrines are.


A few blocks up the hill on the left hand side you can help yourself to delicious Nikko water. And there is a visitors center near here.


Near the top of the hill on the right hand side, you should definitely checkout Nazuna Antiques & Zakka shop. It lots of old Japanese stuff and local crafts that make great souvenirs—I have never seen a shop like it.

IMG_1975IMG_1935IMG_1927At the top of the hill there is a famous bridge. But if you actually want to walk across it you have to pay 300 Yen ($3), so just stay on the street.

IMG_1948Across the river is where all of the shrines are. On the way to the shrines are food stalls with Japanese snacks. These white balls (Dango) looked safe enough, but then they were slathered them with some disgusting black sauce.


Toshogo shrine is where the original see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys are from.IMG_1957IMG_1958 Besides the temples, there are lots of walking trails and other sites around Nikko. Like these statues along the river, which are said to be uncountable (Narabi-jizo). IMG_1988

I spent the night in the Turtle Inn Hotori-An, which is kind of like a hostel but has nice private tatami rooms and a nice hot springs bath.

1 comment:

Devon said...

That's hilarious, and too typical a Japanese experience... not sure why, but it is.