01 April, 2016

Camping in Nikko

So my traditional post-camping post. I tried counting these camping trips and it seems this is our 16th camping trip (counting our two-week trip around Hokkaido as one, and not counting our trip to Uluru, because it was in a motorhome).

This is our second time at this campsite. It was cheaper this time. We used the "free camping" site (i.e. no electricity, but our set-up doesn't require electricity). Also, the showers were free (they were 100 yen per 5 min last time). 

This photo shows only a portion of the area we had all to ourselves, except for late one evening and early the next morning. It was wonderful, we didn't have to worry about the seven kids bothering other people.

This campsite is at the town of Imaichi next door to Nikko, a famous historical place in Japan.

Fire was a common theme, it was lit every meal even if we didn't need it. We found lots of dead wood lying around in the trees nearby, and some enormous fires were made in our little metal fire-base (no open fires allowed).

Here's the free showers. Amazingly clean and attractive. I've not done much camping in Australia, but doubt this would be common there.

Where you put your shoes before going into the bathroom area. As you can see, we basically had it all to ourselves.

The sink area outside the showers.

This was a free exhibition (permanent, I believe) showing 1/10 models of some the historical buildings in Nikko. This is the Tōshōgu Shrine and associated buildings. The detail is astounding. It was commissioned in 1923 and cost around 70,000 yen. It took one man six years and no photos were used. The photo below shows less than half the models.

Each building had a Japanese and English explanation, which was helpful. One bit of English that was amusing was on a piece of paper they gave us: "Please do not inadvertently leave with any reading material from the display area." We figured that if we planned to take reading material then it was probably okay!

More fire. The kids especially loved the fire. Let's face it, we don't let them "play" with fire any other time. Here we were cooking our bananas, marshmallow, and chocolate packets.

Packing up both vans to go home. It's always amazing how much David fits in our van.

This at a convenience store nearly took my appetite away. It doesn't seems strange until you read the English. It means "fried horse mackerel".

On our way home we drove west a little up into the mountains to see a lake and some cascades. This photo is looking back at Nikko. You can see one of the many hairpin corners at the bottom.

This is a portion of the Ryūzu cascades that pours into the high Chūzenji lake (surface height is 1,269m above sea level).
The troops walking back down beside the cascades. The end of a great camping trip.
A little early spring glimpse of the lake from the cascades.

Tokyo was a bit grim as we drove back down (it was grey and gloomy). But while we were gone the sakura had blossomed into full glory. One of the things I love about this week in Japan is that you can turn a corner and see the unexpected sight of pale pink blooms.

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