204 Kms from Iwaki
After a day in ancient Japan, catapult your way back into the 21st Century by starting your second day in the district of Shibuya dodging humans at the world’s busiest crossroad, Shibuya Crossing. If it's too early for such physical contact find a spot to sit or stand and watch as the traffic lights go red and hundreds of busy commuters bolt across in every direction. You can even get a cool birds eye view of the scramble from the Shibuya Hikarie, located just East of Shibuya metro station.
202 Kms from Iwaki
Shinjuku Neon Lights are one of the must-experience things to do when you are visiting Tokyo, Japan. The incredible district is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo and it is also a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world which is the Shinjuku Station. Can you imagine two million people use the station daily and at least 12 different lines pass through here. One could easily get lost inside the station. Anyone and everyone that visits Tokyo will at least make a stop at this unique part of Japan and as for me, my last visit here was back in 1990. You can only imagine how it was back then. On my last visit here in February 2011, it seemed like nothing had changed. Below are pictures I took while I explored this place on foot. Please click on the pictures to see in full size. Walking around at night is probably the best way to experience Shinjuku, especially along the main roads at Kabukicho where you can get a good view of the neon lights that tantalize your eyes. Every nook and cranny was almost covered with all sorts of neon. Even walking pass lanes, you could see lights leading all the way deep into the lanes.Overall, if you like the vibrant nightlife, Shinjuku is one of the places worth exploring as they offer all kinds of shopping and entertainment. Luxury brand stores are also found around here. There are some excellent places with great Japanese food while specialty coffee cafes can be seen here too. Be careful of street promoters that approach and offer you good deals to special clubs and bars as once you are committed, you would most likely end up paying exorbitant prices. Note that various subway lines stop here but the train service stops at midnight so if you plan to stay late, you need to take a taxi back. Some of the best clubs in Tokyo are found here too.
338 Kms from Iwaki
Matsumoto is a lot more touristy when compared to Hakuba as it is the second largest city in the Nagano Prefecture. Home to one of the oldest castles in the country along with some excellent shrines and museums, it morphs into a cherry blossom heaven during the months of March and April. While it is more of a university town, the traditional edibles available in Matsumoto, especially the 'Soba noodles', are loved by locals and travellers in equal measures.
138 Kms from Iwaki
Nikko is most famous for Toshogu Shrine..Also Nikko offers scenic,mountainous landscapes,lakes,hot springs and hiking trails.I took a day trip,but it's not enough to see all the places around Nikko.Spend a night or two.I visited the Shrine area and the kegon waterfalls.The temple area in Nikko have three main Shrines:Toshogu,Rinnoji and futarasan. The Carvings in Toshogu is just magnificent.These all temples are walking distance from Shinkya bus station.How to reach:-I took a Yamabito Shinkansen(bullet train) from Tokyo to Utsunomiya(50 min).From Utsunomiya changed for the JR Nikko line to Nikko station.(45 min)From Nikko station,took a bus for Shinkya station(5 min).After reaching,I was walking towards Nikko Shrine area(known as Nikko National park). Suddenly I stopped as I saw Shinkyo bridge it is just beautiful view up the river.It was raining and the weather was awesome..Then I walked towards the famous Toshogu Shrine..the lavishly decorated Shrine complex consists of more than a dozen buildings set in a beautiful forest.you will be amazed to see countless wood carvings and gold leafs.It took me almost 2 hrs to visit the Shrine buildings from three monkeys carvings to Honjido hall(crying dragon). You cannot use camera in Honjido hall. there is a large painting of a dragon on the ceiling of the hall.you can hear ringing sound when two pieces of wooden are clapped directly under its head.that's why it is called as crying dragon.The clapping of the wood is frequently performed to visitors by a priest.In the main building there is a hidden praying hall.To the right of the main building there is gate which leads u to the famous Carvings of sleeping cat.There are other Shrines near by Toshogu shrines.The area is covered by Big Trees.There u can see