Thursday and Friday I went to Nikko with my friends Tomoki and Taka. It was a lot of fun. Nikko it north a ways in the mountains. It took about 3 hours by bus on the way there. We went with a special program that included the bus ride, one night at an onsen and 2 all you can eat meals, all for really cheap.
On the first day we rode down a river on a big canoe. It was so pretty! The area was beautiful, pretty much undisturbed nature. The canoe driver was really funny too, even though I didn't understand most of what he said.
We also went up the mountain on a ropeway. At the top there were monkeys! It was cool that they were so close, but it was sad because they were caged in. Their living space was really big, but was all dirt and rocks, no trees or grass. They were really accustomed to getting fed too. When Taka bought food they all flocked to her and tried to grab. There were a few babies too, which were really cute.
There was a nice path to walk to a big Redwood tree, but it was supposed to take 30 minutes, and we only had 10 before the last gondola went down the mountain.
There were 3 different baths at the hotel. They were all pretty much empty when we went (at least the womens' were, Tomoki said the mens' were full). Two were open-air, which was so nice and refreshing!
The next day we went to Nikko Edo Wonderland, which is more or less the Japanese version of a Renassaince Fair. It was this big village set in the Edo Period (1603- 1868). It was awesome! So much fun! All the workers were dressed up in traditional clothing, the buildings were old looking, there were lots of shows and displays. By the end of the day most people had gone home, so we were some of the only people still there. The workers were getting bored (as I would imagine, since some people's jobs were just to walk around). We played kendama with everyone we could find. One guy was so good! I learned a few new tricks. Everyone was impressed with my kendama skills, especially for only playing for about one month.
Nikko is also famous for the having the tomb of Ieyasu Tokugawa and some shrines, but we didn't have time to go to those. That's okay by me, I'm kinda done with shrines and temples for awhile.
Only 2 weeks until I go back to America! Weird! I think my mind is starting to prepare. I saw a car today the same color as the Camry and I thought "oh only 2 weeks until I can see him!" but then I remembered he's gone....
Nur and Jeff come on Wednesday! I can't wait!!