Nikko and the Prodigal Umbrella

It was a rainy and chilly Tuesday morning, but I dragged myself out of bed on my day off to visit Nikko, one of the best foliage destinations near Tokyo. Two & a half hours and three rain rides later, I reached Tobu Nikko station and the rain was still relentless. That’s the only time I realized that my old, polka-dotted umbrella from Singapore was missing. It was no big deal, because in this country, there’s always a convenience store nearby.

Armed with my new clear, 360-yen plastic umbrella from the kombini, I walked to the stop hopped on a bus that goes to the Toshogu Shrine, a World Heritage Site.  With my bulky Canon camera on my left hand and an umbrella on the other, I took countless photos of the ornate details and fine wood carvings.

Inside Toshogu Shrine

Following the quick tour of the historic shrine complex, I headed towards my next stop on foot. Along the way, I saw alleys punctuated by bright red and yellow orange trees. I followed the sound of the gushing river and finally caught a glimpse of the famous Shinkyo Bridge. It was love at first sight. I must say my camera was extremely elated too 🙂

The picturesque Shinkyo Bridge

Dozens of shots later, I was on my way to Kegon Waterfall, the highest waterfall at this side of Japan, rising to a height of almost 100 meters. I took a 40-minute bus ride up a winding road so foggy and spooky, it felt like a scene from the apocalypse. When I stepped out of of the bus, a cold and dreary ghost town greeted me.

Kegon Falls’ Ghost Town

I followed the sound of the crashing waters, but unfortunately, no waterfall was in sight – just a thick and creepy blanket of fog. But if there’s any consolation, I came across a few Japanese macaque monkeys frolicking by the cliff, unfazed by the cold. Seeing their furry, blushing faces and matching pink buttocks made the dizzying bus ride somewhat worth it.

Chillin’ like a villain

Before I froze in the 6-degree weather, I boarded the bus to the main station and took the train home. I reached my neighborhood station after a butt-numbing ride and I decided to try my luck and ask one of the staff members for my missing umbrella, 8 hours after I last saw it. He directed me to the Lost and Found section and to my surprise, my cheap, polka-dotted umbrella was there. My prodigal umbrella has returned! Thanks to the kind soul, who made sure I didn’t lose an umbrella for the umpteenth time! And thanks to beautiful Nikko, who gave me another day-off to remember. I have officially fallen in love with Fall in Japan 🙂

I ❤ Fall in Japan


3 thoughts on “Nikko and the Prodigal Umbrella

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