DAY 17 Off to Nikko
DAY 17 Off to Nikko
October 30th, 2019
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Aizu Mount Express
A very early breakfast at the Aizu Wakamatsu Washington hotel:
and then we were off on the 07:52 Aizu Mount Express train direct to Tobu-Nikko station. The JR Pass only covered us from Aizu Wakamatsu station to Nishi Wakamatsu station, and we purchased the remaining fare onboard from the conductor.
We got on the train well before departure but it was so hot in there we decided to wait on the platform a bit longer. It was still quite hot on the train and other people were wearing winter gear while I was sweltering in a t-shirt! The train journey was a little frustrating at times. Not only was it a very noisy clickety-clack kind of train (use your noise cancelling headphones to help a bit!), but the train would constantly play two announcements at once so it was impossible to work out what was being said (when I could understand the Japanese or when an English announcement came on).
The train ride itself was okay with lovely scenery and perhaps they turned the heating off as the train did cool down a bit.
At Tobu-Nikko station we went straight to the 7-Eleven ATM (inside the station) and withdrew some cash before making a toilet stop at the station restrooms, which had no soap, or hot water or hand towels. So keep that in mind if such things bother you.
It was a warm sunny day and we decided to take a taxi to our hotel Akari no Yado Villa Revage Nikko (review here) to drop off our bags. The traffic congestion along the main road was so bad that the ride took three times as long as it generally would. There were armies of tourist buses and coaches everywhere and loads of cars.
After we left our bags at the hotel, we caught the street bus from stop 13 back to Tobu-Nikko station. I headed straight for a stall I’d seen on a few YouTube videos selling age yuba manjou, a crispy red bean bun surrounded by tofu and fried. Sadly the stall holder told me it contained egg. Waaah!
After walking around a bit looking at stuff I was getting hungry so we went to a restaurant called Gyoza no Umechan (review here) which came recommended as having vegan options. A simple lunch but it hit the spot and the gyoza were great:
We took a long walk and went to the famous red Shinkyo bridge, stopping for a grilled sesame-topped dango along the way. I don’t think I could ever tire of dango and wish we had it readily available in Melbourne.
Shinkyo Bridge is extremely popular so there were lots of fellow tourists about taking photos. After walking up and down a bit we caught the street bus back to the hotel and checked in. Dee was really tired and complaining of a slightly sore throat so we bought stuff from the convenience store for dinner and headed back to the hotel to rest and get an early night.