© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Wash up before praying

Day 316: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil

Tokyo – Nikko – Tokyo, Japan

Nikko boasts of its World Heritage temple areas and it is indeed like the Disneyland of temples. With a ¥1,000 combination ticket, you’re able to visit most of them. The temples range from the seven gods temple to fortune god temple to cat temple. Since Nikko is quite a touristy place, the area here seems to sell everything they can make money from: wishing plaques, fortune telling papers, figurines, keychains, etc.

Nikko is only a mere two hours away from Tokyo, but its scenery is totally different. Gone is the grey from Tokyo’s countless buildings. Here, trees and grasses are all over. The temples are perched up on hills making them really photogenic. Sadly, I can no longer tell which is which.

One of the main shrine is this Three Wise Monkeys Shinkyo shrine. Consisted of 8 panels, it gives an insight to what life basically is:

Panel 1: The mother monkey looks into the future of her child; the child looks into the mother’s face with trust.

Panel 2: The child is taught to see no evil; speak no evil; hear no evil.

Panel 3: The child prepares for independence.

Panel 4: The youngster look to the sky with great ambition (clouds symbolize ambition).

Panel 5: At times, the youngster finds life hard and he hangs his head down while a friend looks out for him.

Panel 6: The youngster finally falls in love.

Panel 7: The youngster gets married and the newly wed go through the ups and downs of life (like a tidal wave).

Panel 8: The child monkey is now an expecting mother and the cycle goes on.

I spent the day strolling the site and then hopped on another Shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo. Since I had paid $700 for the 2-week Japan Rail pass, I was determined to make it worthwhile. This Tokyo-Nikko round trip ride alone already worth ¥10,460 ($133). I’m going to keep track of all my rides within these two weeks in Japan to see if it exceeds the price of the pass.

Getting into Tokyo, I stopped at Shibuya to check out one of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing. There’s a Starbucks on a second floor of a building situated right by the crossroad. It would make a perfect people-watching spot. Definitely going to do this next time around.

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