“So so Toshogu”
All the archaeological stuff is fair enough, this site is interesting and being renovated nicely. But all this Shogun excess inevitably was a lot of waste.
“Lots of rushing water”: Ryuokyo Canyon
Quite a bit of water was rushing by as we visited in the rain. But there are lots of wild water sites around the world which are quite spectacular. This site was not spectacular
We are not sure why this hotel has the designation “classic”. There just does not seem to be anything typical, vintage or time honoured about this place. The reservation desk was a circus when we came in, very unorganized and chaotic. It is rather sad when the management decides to put the “foreigner” in their worst room, near the elevator, with the most ordinary sewer stink in the bathroom – we are not aware of too many deodorisers which have a urine smell. Tried to communicate this to marginal English speaking reception, but it was just all too hard. The chaos continues to the in house restaurant where wait staff is just totally unable to deal with an out of country visitor. Otherwise, the beds were comfortable and apart from considerable day time noise, the room on the 3d floor was passable. Free internet and car park was a plus but the room did lack character and facilities, no hand cream or condiments beyond 2 packs of green tea. Overall, the room charges are horribly excessive for a package which is pretty mediocre. Some of the archeology at Nikko might be special, but charging exorbitant prices for not a lot is simply exploitation.
Room Tip: Get a room away from the lifts, and check out your bathroom before you get comfortable
While the archaeological sites at Nikko are definitely worth a look, the downer of a visit is the town of Nikko. Very underwhelming. And to find something nutritious and interesting is a real task. The Bar de Nikko rates well and frankly there are just not many good alternatives in this quite ordinary tourist town. The Bar is very small, seating a max of 8 at any one time. At lunch there is but one cook and a charming offsider to take orders, make coffee and so on. And there is not much on the menu. Well there is a Japanese omelette, and well that is all, apart from a few different fixings. Cheese, or a touch of ham. Hmm, maybe we will go somewhere else? But it is now raining hard outside.
Preparation of the omelette takes a good few minutes and is quite entertaining. We get the cheese to see the blow torch in action. The omelette arrives and it is hot and tasty. Nice spices with a touch of salad. Coffee and a cube of ice cream come with the deal, which overall is a touch expensive for a simple omelette. Not bad, but if this is the best Nikko had to offer, maybe it says something about the tourist town of Nikko.