It is common in Japan to have a list of “Top Three … in Japan” and people will try to visit all three in their lifetime. The Kegon Waterfalls in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture is on that list.
My very good, long term friend, Hideharu Matsuhisa, was kind enough to offer to take me there. Whist I have traveled to Japan often over the past couple of decades, I had not visited the shrines of Nikko, nor it’s famous waterfall.
On arrival late in the afternoon of a winter’s day, we were met with a chilled and dark entrance to our hotel. The temperature at that time was hovering around OoC – quite cold for a Queensland boy. Following a great dinner, looking
out to the frost covered garden outside, it was decided that we should take a bath in the hotel’s onsen. I didn’t know at that point that this required a walk along an outside path wearing little other than a cotton robe, to gain access to the warmth of the bath!
The next morning Matsuhisa-san wanted to test out his latest pin-hole camera, and the frost covered trees and bushes nearby seemed a suitable subject. From there we made our way to one of the best waterfalls in Japan. As the bus took us closer and closer, the fog was as amazing as were the icicle covered trees and bushes. A slippery and scary walk brought us to the sound of roaring water, but there was no way a view of the falls were to be had that day.The trip down the mountain, via public bus, was a test of the driver’s ability. The shrine of Nikkō Tōshō-gū was completed in 1617 and is a major attraction for both local and overseas tourists. For many tourists an important site is the three monkeys carving – Three Wise Monkeys – Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. Which were duly photographed.