Naked on the Rooftop of a 12-Story Building

Onyekachi Nwabueze
November 25, 2015
Ryoukyo Ravine
24 November 2015
The last IES Abroad-sponsored cultural trip was to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. This small town is known for its Toshogu Shrine, breath-taking waterfalls and nature, and woodcarvings. This two-day trip was the perfect relaxing get-away from the chaotic nature of school.

We met at the IES Abroad Tokyo Center in the morning and had a chance to get last-minute konbini snacks for the two-hour drive. Once we arrived in Nikko, we went to Toshogu Shrine and had time to walk around for a bit. Toshogu Shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu who is the father of the Tokugawa shogunate. The shrine was beautiful. It was in the process of renovation and preservation, but it was still one of the most intricate and detailed shrines I have ever seen.

This is the shrine known as the originator of, and for the popularizing of the Three Wise Monkeys (mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru), or the see no-, hear no-, and speak no evil monkeys as they are carved in wood.

Entrance to Toshogu Shrine

Toshogu Shrine

Five-Story Pagoda

Stairs to Sleeping Cat Carving (Nemuri-Neko)
After this activity, we went to the Asaya Hotel (あさやホテール). This hotel was an experience in itself. True shoutout to IES Abroad Tokyo for really treating us because this hotel made so much of the experience for many, if not all, of us. The hotel stood 12 stories (the entrance was on the 6th floor). The hotel had gift shops, dining areas, and even karaoke boxes! The highlight of the hotel was by far the onsen. There was a large public bath on the basement floor (which was beautiful and stunning) and a rooftop onsen. The rooftop onsen was just incredible. The view of Nikko was just phenomenal. Not many people can say they have been naked on the rooftop of a 12-story building, enjoying a nice soak in one of the best and most extravagant hot tubs of Nikko.

Dinner at Asaya
After enjoying a buffet or banquet of a breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and drove about 15 minutes to Ryoukyo Ravine for a stroll through nature. It was a nice way to begin our day. After having yakiniku for lunch, we went Murakami Toyohachi to make wood carvings. This activity helped us to just further appreciate wood carvings because we discovered just how challenging it is; trust me, it is not as easy as it looks.

Ryoukyo Ravine
After wood carving we jumped right back on the bus and began our journey back home (Chiba Prefecture).
Like I said before, the short trip was really the perfect length to just get away and relax. Travelling to for two days and one night was a great experience.

My Nikko-bori Carving

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Onyekachi Nwabueze

<p>Hey there! I am Onyekachi Nwabueze and I am a Nigerian born and raised in San Francisco, California. I am a student at Occidental College studying Cognitive Science, Education, and Linguistics. I love love LOVE to dance, sing, learn, try new things, and paint my nails. My current career paths include varsity athlete, big sister, wanna-be professional dancer, and villainous chiller (one who chills like a villain).</p>

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