Friday, January 2, 2015

Winter Break Part 4: Lake Chuzenji

After checking out of the hotel we walked to Kinugawa Onsen Station.

Jonathan enjoyed sliding around on the ice. He got stared at by some old people, haha.

We had a little bit of time before our train so we briefly stopped in a gift shop. I bought a really cute bunny pouch.

Kinugawa Onsen felt like a colder version of Toi with a train station. There's not much to do in the town, it has a bunch of crappy buildings but also nice hotels, has nice scenery, and has a touristy area. Toi didn't feel very touristy in most areas except near the gold mine. The area around the station in Kinugawa Onsen kind of had that feeling to me. 

I was excited to ride the red and green train. I had seen it the day before and called it a Christmas train.

It's a coincidence that I called it that, because it actually was a Christmas train. Well, not exactly, but I think they embraced the Christmassy look of the outside and decided to decorate the inside as well.

That's the bunny pouch I got! I got some cat ones in Kyoto as some gifts for my family, but I didn't get one for myself. But now I have a bunny one!

After arriving at Nikko Station we went to the konbini to get lunch and then ate it on the bus to Chuzenji.

The bus ride was about 45 minutes, but it was very enjoyable. Well, a bit scary at times. The road is super curvy. It's crazy!

The road is just one-way. The road in the picture above is the way we took back down later. Crazy!

When we arrived in Chuzenji I saw this sign.

As we walked towards Kegon Falls, we saw a monkey. Can you find it in the picture below?

After we passed by it we saw it cross the road. 

At Kegon Falls we took an elevator down to the base of the falls. Later we found a viewing platform where you can see it from above, but the view is better below so I think it's worth the money.

The waterfall was very pretty especially with the snow.  It looked a bit bigger and prettier than it looks in pictures.

Then we walked to the lake. The sidewalk was very slippery in places. Surprisingly I never fell!

The lake was very pretty. You can hike around it, but it was cold, so we didn't stay very long. Jonathan threw a few snowballs though.

Ahhhh! A headless swan boat! Anyway... it would be a lot of fun to go out on a swan boat on the lake. I guess they don't run in the winter though.  

Then we took the bus back to Nikko and a train back to Tokyo. For going to Nikko I suggest one of the Tobu Nikko passes. We got the All-Nikko pass (4,520 yen) which covered our round-trip tickets from Tokyo to Nikko, trains from Nikko to Kinugawa onsen, and all of the buses we took.

Then we headed to T.G.I. Friday's in Ikebukuro. They had a bunch of Sailor Moon ads in the station.

A couple days later I went to Parco to check out the Sailor Moon stuff, but it wasn't much. It was just a sticker that you could get if you spent 1,000 yen in some of the stores there. I had seen that on the sign, but I thought they might have a bunch of merchandise. They had a few things but nothing I haven't seen in other stores.

At Friday's we got a waiter who could speak English very well. He actually goes to school in Boston and was just home for the holidays. So just like last time it pretty much felt just like we were in America.  

I got the Jack Daniel's chicken, which was suuuuuuper tasty. It was a little pricey, but totally worth it. It was about 1800 yen. I doubt it's that much in the US.

At one point they did a show at the bar and we went over to watch it. A guy was juggling bottles and he was really good!

Let's American party!

Then we went to our hotel, Toyoko Inn Shinagawa Eki Konan Guchi Tennozu. Such a long name! I've stayed in many Toyoko Inn hotels and this one was huge compared to the others. It's my new favorite. I will have some pictures in my posts later.


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