Temples

Nikko, Japan

January 25, 2013 · 6 comments

It has been a while since I went exploring somewhere new by myself, and often on my trips between the Tohoku region (where I used to work, and where my wives parents live) and Tokyo (where I live now) I saw advertisement for Nikko. I knew it had a reputation for being beautiful and I should probably go someday. As it happens I found out about a 5 day unlimited train journey ticket that me and my wife used to get to Sendai for the equivalent of 2100 yen, each way (about $20/£15, usually its around 3500-7000yen depending on how you get there and how often you stop). Anyway this left us with 1 free day so I decided to use it to go to Nikko and discover what was so good about the place.

I’ll start with the conclusion: Nikko is now one of my favourite places in Japan. I was blown away by Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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I met up with Puput, Hera and Cita from Indonesia along with Suzen and Hafeesa who were locals to Singapore and kindly showing us around for the afternoon.
We first went to a muslim mosque in Chinatown where the girls had to wrap up due to being in short skirts.

Hafeesa, Hera, Puput and Suzen outside the mosque

Hafeesa, Hera, Puput and Suzen outside the mosque

Islamic chandelier

Islamic chandelier

There wasn’t much more inside it, a carpetted floor for praying on (men only, women go in a separate section) and pillars supporting the roof. The chandelier was very stylish though. So we headed off down the road to the next temple.

Guardian statue outside Chinese Temple

Guardian statue outside Chinese Temple

This was a Chinese temple and it was busy with monks inside chanting. Outside was two god like figures looking very threatening but cool at the same time.
Up on the roof was a garden with Orchids in; the national flower of Singapore, beautifully presented by my 2 assistants in the picture below. Further up and surrounded by 10,000 mini budda statues was a prayer wheel where you hold onto the bar and turn it around 3 times making a wish. You could pay to have one of the Buddhas named after yourself, I never found out price for this.

Worshippers inside Chinese Temple

Worshippers inside Chinese Temple

Orchid on the roof of the Chinese Temple

Orchid on the roof of the Chinese Temple

Rotating pillar brings luck

Rotating pillar brings luck

Some other items inside the temples:

Even statues need to rest

Even statues need to rest

Miniture statues inside Chinese Temple

Miniture statues inside Chinese Temple

Statue with lots of arms

Statue with lots of arms

Sultan Mosque

Sultan Mosque

We passed the red dot museum and headed into the business area of Singapore and through to Little India after a short MRT trip to find we was running too late to go into the Sultan mosque as it closed at 4pm, still good for an outdoor photo though! Getting a little hungry we decided to rest for a bit. We went for some strained tea and Indian flatbread with a curry sauce which was made right in front of us by the stalls and tasted delicious. I’ve this bread a few times now, as it’s a cheap and common snack across Asia but I never knew the name before, at least now I can order it for myself, see this article for more info on the indian flatbread.

Colourful Chinese dragon and rider

Colourful Chinese dragon and rider

We was joined by JayJay, another local Singaporean who I talked to about Australia as he’s been and going back again soon whilst carrying on with our walk, tasting some dried meat on route, passing through some mini Chinese festival and stopping at a place for desert where they insisted I had my first proper taste of durium, the king of fruits apparently, albeit they gave me a weak one.

Ice cream time!

Ice cream time!

Durium ice cream reaction

Durium ice cream reaction

Can you guess what I thought of it from the picture? They say it tastes like a cross between kiwi fruit and passion fruit. I say it tastes like a cross between a kiwi fruit, custard, and a sewer.

After the toilet flavoured bowl of custard we went past my hostel where I quickly got a shower and dumped the camera box that Suzan had been carrying for me all day (thanks again for that!) and headed deeper into Little India to have Nepalese food, and our group quickly turned very big and a big spread was put out so we all got a taste of everything, I enjoyed it all apart from some weird nuts and seeds they handed out at the end. Amusingly after negociating a 10% discount (for size of group and repeat custom for some of the locals) the staff put a 10% service charge on the bill :)

Nepalese food is popular

Nepalese food is popular

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There is a small 100 year old Chinese temple in Sandakan, it is a bit out of place now with Sandakan built around it.

Sandakan Chinese temple

Sandakan Chinese temple

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