After a hefty, Hawaiian-themed breakfast, we hopped on the Shinkansen to visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage temples and shrines of Nikko.
We found a place to have brunch in Tokyo that was literally 5 minutes away, but the first time we went there there was a huge line for it. We did not get discouraged, though. Usually when a restaurant has a line, it means its good, so we would not let this pass. So we got up early and got there just in time for opening hour, and there was already a line for it, but it was totally worth it.
The place is called Eggs n’ Things and the Hawaiian vibe was back on again. We had eggs Benedict and ahi tuna for breakfast with fluffy pancakes with a mountain of whipped cream on top. No, of course we didn’t have lunch.
After that it was time to visit Nikko. Once again, we used our JR Passes to travel more than 140 km north of Tokyo, using two different lines (one of them an über-fast Shinkansen) and book seat reservations — those two alone were more than 100 USD per person, which we got for free thanks to our Passes.
On the second — this time around, local — train we saw some of the most fantastic landscapes in Japan. It still amazes us how the scenery can change so drastically in just a few miles when a field is left untouched, when there’s no influence of man around.
Nikko is a small city located at the entrance of Nikko National Park and it’s known for an enormous shrine called the Tosho-gu. This shrine complex was made in honor of the shoguns of the Tokugawa period, who ruled Japan in the Edo period, for 268 years.
This complex is located between the perfect combination of mountains, forests and waterfalls, and the way it’s made out of wood makes you undoubtedly look around and easily imagine samurais strolling around.
The almost overwhelming atmosphere is so peaceful, so pure and untouched that you want to stay there forever, and enjoy all that peacefulness and quiet. A Japanese saying goes “Never say ‘kekko’ (beautiful) until you’ve seen Nikko” — and it couldn’t be more true.