Tokyo to Nikko

I get out of bed at a decent hour and drag my stuff out of the room so I don’t wake anyone. Most are probably up anyway. I don’t feel like doing anything but the sun will be out this weekend and nature in Nikko…!

I throw out a bunch of papers, repack and bag the items I want to ship. The hostel provides me a box. It’s not much in terms of weight, much to my disappointment. I imagine the sake bottle is holding me down but I can’t ship it.

I drop off the package at the post office. They want to know the content of the package and not vague words. I try the translation app on my phone and find myself miming face wash and lotion. After I left I realized I didn’t write my name or anything on the box. They did placed the label I wrote on the box with the tiniest of tape. Here’s hoping it holds. I trust the Japanese postal service. I’ll find out in two months! If it’s not there, there goes all my souvenirs! 😦 It’s just stuff I tell myself. (Spoiler: It arrives home a month after I do.)

I remember the ATM (Guides say Nikko is small and you should have cash before going) and then head back to the hostel to check trains and accommodation. I book a hostel in Nikko for tonight and make my way to the train station in Asakusa where I buy the Nikko pass. I’m late of course so I just miss the train. Oh well, there’s time to eat.

I get on the next train. I love train rides.

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While enjoying the view, my mind wanders to my next destination. I’m nervous about traveling in New Zealand. What if the buses don’t go where I want to go? There will be compromises I’m sure. I just want to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Not sure what to do with my backpack. As annoyed as I am with how it started and bouncing around Kyoto, the trains and the option to drop off my backpack were always there conveniently.

Since it will be dark when I get to Nikko, I should spend the evening planning out the rest of my trip. My roommate from India offered to host a couple nights outside of Auckland. I hope we can meet up! I’d like to meet more people. Japan was lacking in that and it shows. Plus, the weather lately is really draining.

It’s dark when I arrive in Nikko. I exit the station and scan the area. It takes a few seconds but I can see the hostel straight ahead on the corner. The front is a small restaurant. I check in at the counter and I’m lead outside to a side door. This is the hostel or rather an apartment converted into one. We walk upstairs to the empty rooms where I’m showed my bed and how to work the heater. There’s no one here right now.

I settle in. The washroom is freezing and I dread the moment the hot water is turned off. I make a note to myself that my pajamas will not last much longer and really need to buy a new pair. The heater is on and I’m eating whatever I bought which includes this lovely “Brooklyn” doughnut. I lazily look over the map and papers I have on Nikko. I mark the bus number I need to get to the main section where all the shrines are. It should be a nice day tomorrow.


Slowly my roommates appear. We introduce ourselves and everyone gets ready for bed.


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