77 Kms from Tokyo
One of the places to visit for a view of Mt. Fuji. Hakone is a quaint little town with plenty more to do as well. I loved the views of Lake Ashi, and walking along the Cedar Tree Route. Taking the various forms of transportation around Hakone was fun too! Our view of Mt. Fuji was slightly blocked by some clouds but it was still so majestic. I can see why people wrote poems and songs about Fuji-san. She isn't "just a mountain".
114 Kms from Tokyo
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