Feb. 18, 2022
Just some more photos to wrap up our trip to Nikko.

I took a bunch of photos of different monuments and buildings that seemed important or had lavish decorations.
I can't make out what the writing on the monument says but I can at least make out the kanji for heart (心).

I also liked the golden palanquins inside the the building in the forth photo, although I'm not sure if they were used at some point or are simply for decoration.

The other photos are from Futarasan Chugushi Shrine (二荒山中宮祠神社) located in front of Lake Chuzenji.
Unfortunately we didn't have time to go inside the shrine but I was at least able to take some nice photos of the torii gate.
Apparently it has a kagura hall as well and the entrance to Mt. Nantai is located inside the shrine as well.

And finally, just an assortment of food that I haven't posted yet.
All of it tasted great.
It was definitely a trip I'm never going to forget!
Next post
Apr. 4, 2022
Decided to go back to Gyoda again this weekend. We had such a good time last time we went we decided we wanted to check out the cherry blossoms this spring. Managed to visit some really nice places. We originally wanted to use the rental bicycles that they have in front of the station but we got there past noon and all of them were taken unfortunately. Fortunately for us, it ended up getting a bit colder later on so it actually worked out. We got lucky as there was a really convenient sightseeing bus that rolled through the station to all of the major places in the city every 45 minutes or so. We checked out the cherry blossoms at Gyoda Castle and they had the Hanachozu (花手水, pots of flowers floating in water). We were able to see a few of these throughout the city which was nice. They also had traditional umbrellas on display in a few areas around the castle which was really pretty. After Gyoda Castle we visited the Sakitama Burial Mounds which had some really beautiful views of the cherry blossoms. There was also a flock of herons flying around the area but I wasn't able to get a very good photo of any of them. Luckily we got some great photos of the cherry blossoms and the main mound and had a really enjoyable time. We also stopped by Suijo Park and there were some food stalls in the area, but we got there when everything was just about closed so we only got to see a few of the vendors. We managed to get a really tasty lemonade and a latte though. Both tasted really good. Surprisingly there were a lot of cosplayers at the park. We probably saw like 20-30 people cosplaying using the bridges and cherry blossoms in the area. On the way back to the station we managed saw this river during the bus ride and so we backtracked a little bit after getting to the station (about 5 minutes walking) and got to enjoy some really phenomenal views of the cherry blossoms along the river. There were hardly any people there as well, surprisingly. Overall it was a really awesome time!