MY UNDER TYPHOON FIRST AUTUMN EXPERIENCE IN NIKKO, JAPAN

by - 8:36 PM


The autumn foliage is not ordinary in a tropical country such as the Philippines.  To be able to experience the season is one of the long line of bucket list for every Filipino, including myself.  With this, the early autumn trip to one of the countries known for picturesque landscape on said season was planned.  Fortunately, the Cebu Pacific Air offered a seat sale on our intended dates of visit.  And everything was materialized.

It was my first autumn experience.


I had visions of gardens, temples, and lakes surrounded by deciduous trees and shrubs in shades of red, yellow, purple, black, orange, pink, magenta, blue and brown.  Months before the trip, we have confirmed with friends based in Tokyo of where the best vantage of an autumn foliage can be experienced.  All of them pointing to Nikko, Japan.


With that, Nikko should be a priority in the itinerary.  The Nikko Travel Pass booked from Klook was the answer to making our itinerary work with ease and convenience.  The pass has an inclusive round trip from Tobu Asakusa Station (just a few walks from our hotel, Wired Asakusa) to Shimo-imaichi Station.  From Asakusa Station, we exchanged our Klook Vouchers at the Tobu Sightseeing Service Center by presenting our passports as well.

The Unlimited Access on Tokyo Subway via Klook as well really did wonders on saving cost and time for this trip. 



From Shino-imaichi Station, shuttle rides are available to explore the best places of Nikko, which is divided into three based on your preference including that of famed lakes and onsens. We did choose the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nikko route.  The Nikko Travel Pass provides unlimited rides to all access transports in Nikko and Kinugawa.  It is the most economical way to travel to Nikko.


Though everything may have been planned and dreams may have been visualized, the weather did not cooperate.  There was a super typhoon during our visit.  With that, the wandering has to be shortened and mostly, we were confined for the indoors.  But the drizzle at times and the incessant rain never compromised the beautiful landscape of Nikko.


Nikko’s World UNESCO Heritage Sites, including two shrines and one temple, are connected with a panoramic path of cedar trees.  Visitors can take a stroll to Nikko-zan Rin-noji Temple, which has over 1,200 years of history and 16 important cultural properties, and Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine, believed to bring good luck in matchmaking.

NIKKO FUTARASAN JINJA SHRINE


The wooden plaques with a heart shape is the highlight of the shrine.  With incessant rains, we still strolled around the vicinity and ended up on a nearby parking lot with a landscape close to what I visualized an autumn scenery should be.



SHINKYU OR SACRED BRIDGE

The Shunkyu or Sacred Bridge is the icon of Nikko.  It is everything how Japan can be captured on an autumn season.  The bridge stands at the entrance of Nikko’s shrines and temples, and technically belongs to Futarasan Shrine.  The bridge is ranked as one of Japan’s three finest bridges.


NIKKO TOSHO-GU

Together with Futarasan Shrine, the Nikko Tosho-gu forms the Shrines and Temples of Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The five-story pagoda at the entrance is a necessary backdrop at Nikko Tosho-gu.  The heavy downpour made us stay on the side temples and for me, a time to observe the high influx of tourists.  The transparent white umbrellas was a necessary faΓ§ade and the queue to the stone steps leading to the temple was so long, despite the incessant rain.


The trip to Nikko may be so short but the travel was definitely worth it, especially when you are in the company of good friends.  The trip could have been a disaster because of the typhoon but when with like-minded travel buddies, you get the most out of the trip and exclude the negativities.

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