Japan: Nikkō and Minamiokorokawa 「日光・南小來川」
If I never step out of my own comfort zone, and try to do something that I have never tried, i.e. travelling on my own to somewhere totally new to me, perhaps Nikkō would just be another world heritage site hidden within Japan Travel Guides.
When the cool summer wind caressed my cheeks as I sped down the road lined up with Japanese Cedar trees, blissfulness filled my lungs and body. The sun rays illuminated the misty mountains with such warmness that I was unable to stop myself from admiring.
This is not written chronologically, as Nikkō trip is my personal trip which happened near the end of my Japan Kantō trip.
Departed from Wei Ann's hotel in Kashiwa, taking a detour to Asakusa, and purchased the All Nikkō Pass from Tōbu Tourist Center, and then rushed to the Tōbu Nikko（東武日光線）train with my packed lunch from a nearby convenience store. A two-hours train ride in slight drizzles to arrive in Shimo-Goshiro（下小代駅）and picked up by a Caucassian which is the Zen Hostel's host, Scout. Thanks to Japanese punctuality, the train timings make life easier in planning trips.
Without having to go anywhere but spending time around the hostel for one full day, if you give me this option, I would love to do that again. The hostel is located at Minami-Okorokawa（南小來川）, a peaceful countryside with Kurokawa（黒川）flowing through the village. Been there, experienced, this village was the kind of village that I imagined I would have lived in if I was born to a countryside. Roam around the countryside with friends of similar age, dive into the crystal clear river, catch freshwater fish with barehand and barbeque at the riverside with wet body while drying myself beside the fire.
I was able to fulfilled part of the dream, which would not be possible without a bicycle loaned from the hostel. Here it is, something that came in handy here!
I cycled like a child, going up and down the slopes without feeling tired at all. Despite it was mid-Summer, it felt so comfortable here. And I explored the world, with my curiousity pushing me forward.
A sight so common in Japan, is the water sprout that people rinse the hands and mouth to cleanse themselves at sacred temples. A temple in Minami-Okorokawa was like a sanctuary, for pilgrims who are seeking the enlightenment. Quiet.
Imagine when I saw the foggy mountain ranges!
Especially easily viewable from anywhere in the countryside.
I couldn't stop the inner-voice from screaming silently.
I want to stay here for a longer time, I want to come back in the future, I want to... This is exactly the escape I want.