Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Last EPIC Journey Part 7: Sayonara Onsen, Konnichiwa Temples

The Last EPIC Journey Part 7: Sayonara Onsen, Konnichiwa Temples

Wed Feb 10/10

One Last Go
We had set the alarms for 6am for anyone who wanted to bathe once more before we left. I immediately sat up to get ready and just stayed there with my eyes closed. Then I heard Marie groggily ask if anyone was going to go bathe. I said I was and stood up to get my stuff. I scared myself silly because when I stood up, I saw a person's shadow on the sliding door - it was actually my own shadow. LOL. In all fairness, I was still groggy. Shortly after Chris sat up and said she would come too. In the elevator, we both agreed that we woke up to bathe one more time, because this was our last chance to enjoy it for a long time so we wanted to make the most of it.

We went to the indoor onsens. This time I wasn't wearing my contacts and I knew my glasses would only fog. I can see well enough, I just can't read anything without my glasses. Chris directed me to where she was. We enjoyed the two baths and then the sauna. It was much better this time because I felt that the elevated benches/seats were hotter than the floor where I sat. I was able to stay in a little longer than last time. Afterwards I went into the cool bath. Chris found it too cold so she only put her legs in.

We showered and went back upstairs. The girls were awake and we got ready for buffet breakfast. It was so yummy! We ate a lot again, but not as much as the night before. We went back to the rooms and Mellers said she'd go back for a quick dip. The rest of us decided to take naps on the futons.

Marie had to work so she needed to take the 10:15am train. We told her to go ahead to the lobby, but when she got there, the lady flagged down a bus and put her on it to the station or she'd miss her train. She called us to let us know and we headed off to Nikko. It was really lucky that we enjoyed all of this the day before, as the weather was much nicer. Today's weather was quite foggy and slushy.

Chris and I had found a place called World Tobu Square on the internet. It is an amusement park that has replicas of the wonders of the world, except we found out later, that they were miniatures. We scrapped that plan and decided to just see the temples. We visited "Toshogu, Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Nikko had been a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for many centuries before Toshogu was built in the 1600." (taken from japan-guide)

Walking Around
We took pictures of the monkeys who hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. We copied them in the photos and the people who took our pictures took similar ones.
We climbed 200 steps to the mausoleum and it was so mystical with the mist everywhere. There was a large tree beside it where one could whisper their wishes into the hollow part of the tree. Mellers threw her arms up in the air and said GIVE ME LOVE! hahaha. I don't know what Chris asked for, but I asked to get into school and do well. I also wished for my family friends to be healthy and happy. We saw the temple of the crying dragon and the clapping of those wooden blocks had my ears ringing a bit. Chris was a bit jumpy at the temple too, but she was okay. She maybe sensed spirits there or something? Anyway, she stayed close to me the whole time we were there.

Mad Dash
We tried to keep track of time so that we could be back downtown at a decent hour. Mellers realized that there was a bus at 1:15pm and our train back was at 1:59pm. In order to catch it without rushing to the train we RAN down the temple. RAN people!
I ran with my heavyass knapsack and my bad cardio ahhaa. Mellers was running in her expensive heeled Italian boots and Chris in her new Harajuku boots and me with my Nike hightops. Mellers got there first and saw the bus. She started yelling and was hitting the side of the bus to wait for us. Chris and I caught up, we were gasping for air but were happy we made it. At the station, we ate curry pie and had a famous lemon-ginger drink.

We were pretty tired and we all just slept throught the whole train ride. Since we had already taken all of our scenery photos on our way there, we just slept the entire time, sprawled on our seats ahhaha. People walked by staring at us hahaha, we were so tired wed didn't care. We finally got back to the station.

Chris and I went to Ikebukuro to shop and Mellers took my knapsack to her place, so she could rest and call home. I bought a sheet of origami paper at a shop. We headed to Sunshine City mall. On the way, I won some anime-related stuff at an arcade. Chris and I shopped around and tried not to go too crazy. Because of the Alice-in-Wonderland craze, there is a lot of rabbit and clock themes, so I bought something.
Chris got some major steals! I got a new watch yea yea! I didn't spend that much as I need money for the taxi and besides, I spent a lot of money already!

When we called Mellers, Marie was with her. Marie had class early the next day and couldn't stay for dinner with us. We were going to leave in 30 minutes, but we didn't want to miss saying goodbye to her, so we rushed to Baba (Takadanobaba) station to say bye.

I had been asking Mellers to take us to an okonomiyaki place. I love it! It's kind of like a cross between a pancake and omelette with different fillings. It turned out to be better that we didn't make it ourselves, because this guy made some amazing food! We ordered a lot of food. Two okonomiyakis, two orders of tofu (he added an extra one in for free), some kimichi dish and he also gave us a service (free) sweet potato dish that was amazingly good. We had a vegetable dish with asparagus and okra (I don't really like okra), but it was so delicious! We were so stuffed afterwards.

Haha Mellers kept saying she couldn't believe these great restaurants were so close to her and she didn't know about them. The guy was so nice to give us free stuff. We took pictures with them and he conversed with Mellers a bit. She told him we were from Canada. We went back to Mellers place to pick up the extra luggage and my knapsack. Mellers copied our photos and we stole music from her. I was already falling asleep. Sooooo tired...

See You Around Mellers!
Ah the part I hate - saying goodbye. I hugged Mellers really tightly and said goodbye. I really feel like it might be a while before I see her again, but who knows...that's what I thought the first time I said goodbye to her and we cried a bit, then I saw her numerous times after. A trip to Tokyo is never the same if Mellers isn't there. She was also able to switch her schedule so we could see her even more on the trip. She made the onsen so much more bearable as we were petrified, but ended up having such an amazing time.

Mellers is one-of-a-kind SUPERAWESOME. I'm glad Chris got to meet her and she's also met Josie. Guess she just has to meet my parents and she's met the family! Thanks Mellers for everything!! ^__^
Is it possible that we will make that trip an annual thing? ahahha. Where could we find the money and time? But when you think about it, it was such a steal. That experience only cost us $136 plus travel cost!

The Never-Ending Day
We got home and packed until we had to leave. So we got home at 1am something and left the guesthouse at 4:45am. Got the 5:45am bus and slept on there. Took a 9:00am flight and arrived in Seoul at 11:40amish, but that's another much to catch up on...slowly yet surely...these journals are so rough. I don't read them over, so sorry if they don't make sense LOL!
-Sam ^__^

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