Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Day 7: Nikko and Kinugawa

1. Shinkyo (Sacred Bridge)

A beautiful structure, it’s a curved wooden bridge built very long ago and still stands strong over Daiya river. I have a thing for bridges because I am always v amazed by how people in the ancient times, with their limited technology can build something ACROSS a river… I once watched a documentary about bridges and boy… are these builders smart… I like this bridge v much… but the one I really want to visit is the Kintai bridge in Yamaguchi. THAT is an awesome bridge.

2. Toshogu Shrine

This shrine honours the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu (De2 Chuan1 Jia1 Kang1 in kanji) who chris says is the founder of modern Japan… er… ok… my history sucks… that’s why I didn’t get into Japanese course in Uni cos I think they asked me that same question and I answered wrongly =P this shrine is resplendent n v elaborate w intricate craftsmanship, befitting of his reputation. Also visited Rinnoji and some other ji (temple) whose name I can’t remember now =P thing about these temples and shrines is that the road leading up to it is always some stoney pathway like they want to test your determination to get there. Ferragamos is not a good idea -.-

3. Hananoyado Matsuya

Chris thinks I have the habit of choosing the most ulu baluku ryokans… I think we were the only non-Japanese there and the staff don’t really speak much English except for one guy. It’s a v old, traditional ryokan where the windows are really made of PAPER! Felt v tempted to poke but it’s not nice la hahaha… There was a beautiful garden and from our room, we could see the ravine running beside the ryokan. The outdoor onsen is v v nice too, especially the men’s one. It’s the stone-type right beside the ravine so as u soak in it, u can take in the spectacular view… as for me, I can hear the rushing waters which was equally therapeutic ^^ I don’t know whether it’s our choice of ryokan, area or because it’s a weekday but the place was full of old folks LOL… in any case, when u watch Japan hour, it’s always the old folks who they feature haha…

Hananoyado Matsuya
Accessibility: 3* (quite ulu… take Spacia limited express train from Asakusa to Kinugawa-onsen… 2 hours… then change train to Kinugawa-Koen… 5 mins… then walk 3 mins)
Service: 5* (even before we arrived at the front door, they came and greeted us and had our reservation card w our name ready at the counter)
Amenities: 3* (normal stuff, nothing extra that impressed me)
Food: 4* (dinner was not really to my liking because they served lots of cold food… it’s summer cuisine I guess… but I liked the breakfast ^^ scraped the plates clean =P)
Ambience: 5* (v exclusive, v authentic and traditional, nice river view ^^)
Onsen: 4.5* (nice outdoor onsen… stone type)
Sight-seeing: 1* (nothing much to see or do there)

Our room view

Chris wearing a yukata, strolling in the garden with a koi pond