Sunday, July 23, 2006

Nikko again, and that's ok

Have I mentioned I love the Nikko area? In case I haven't said it enough, here it is again. I love Nikko and its surrounding area. Today, after fiddling around on the Internet and finally booking our hotel rooms for our trip to Nagano this Obon, Yoshiko and I headed out to the Kirifuri Kogen area near Nikko to check out yet another set of water falls I hadn't seen. The falls in question, Kirifuri no taki, (which translates to the misty mountain falls?) are simply gorgeous. They are not quite as dramatic (and morbidly historical) as Kegon Falls, but the lush green surroundings make the visit a memorable one. The area we were in is at an altitude of 1200 meters, and the falls drop a good hundred meters or more down the side of the mountain. The viewing area is at the end of a 5 minute walk down a well maintained path, and the cicadas were signing to us as we made our way down. Here is a 4 picture stitching I took.

Following our peek at the falls, we ate at a fabulous restaurant which offers a view of the falls. The food was amazing! Their French onion soup is pretty much on par with what I'm used to back home, which is quite the feat since the few times I've tried the soup here in Japan I have not been able to finish the bowl... ick! But this stuff was great!

Afterwards, we headed off for a little exploration of Nikko, we parked in a little residential area and wandered through a quiet temple along the river where the hydrangea were still in full bloom.

I also really liked the moss growing on the basin here, and the trademark dragon was nice too.

We then followed the river down and made our way to what must be the very head of the river. The water narrows and rushes pretty intensely around this point... and the lack of concrete or any other man made obstacles to the river make this the most natural riverside surroundings I've ever encountered in Japan!

Along this path are also dozens of these moss covered statues who have been here for quite some time.

Some have even lost their heads to some unknown calamity, but have been able to hold on to their hats!

Needless to say, a wonderful day, though Yoshiko may think I was fiddling with my camera a little too much. I am very much still in the learning phase, doing a lot by trial and error, but am pleased with what I was able to get today, especially considering the lack of sunshine. The photo stitching feature by which you can take several pictures and stitch them into one panorama is very cool, and the video mode is amazing too! More of those coming in the future for sure. Tomorrow is back to the rain if the weather reports are to be believed, so other than a trip to get some food, I doubt I'll be doing much.

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Blogger Anskov said...

That stitched picture is amazing! Well done.

10:41 PM  

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