I was supposed to go to Nikko after I went to Sendai, but ended up taking a break from traveling instead. Now that I’ve had a good night’s rest, I’m ready to get back to Nikko like I had originally planned. Unfortunately, many of the places I had intended to go were under construction, but thankfully most of them were still open to be visited.

My first stop was the Shinkyo bridge. It’s a beautiful bright red bridge that crosses a rushing river. It’s the perfect image of traditional Japan. I actually stood around for almost half an hour, waiting to get the perfect shot. Normally I won’t wait around that long just to get a picture, but I really wanted to get the picture I often see in advertisements in train stations.

Next was Rinnoji temple and Shoyoen Garden. Unfortunately Rinnoji was under construction. There’s a temporary wall around the entire shrine that has a picture of the shrine on it, so you can’t see the actual shrine. Unfortunately it’ll be that way for the next few years, but Shoyoen was still open. It was small, but had a serene feel to it.

Next was Toshogu shrine. This too was also under construction, but only a small part of it. Even with the construction, everything looked absolutely spectacular. The white pillars with dragons and the black roof with gold plating made for a truly stunning sight. The surrounding structures are also made of black, gold, and red. Inside the Honjido Hall is a painting of a white dragon on the ceiling. It’s known as the “crying dragon.” This is because, when you clap two pieces of wood together, there is a loud ringing sound, but only when you stand directly under the dragon’s face.

The last place on my list to go was Taiyuinbyo. This was probably the only place I went today that didn’t have some sort of construction. Similar to Toshogu shrine, it was made of red, black, and gold. Inside the building you can see beautiful gold decorations.

With this, my main travels came to an end. Now that I’m pretty much broke from all my adventuring, it’s time to return to my dorm and face what I’ve been putting off for some time now. It’s finally time to start my preparations for leaving Japan.

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