Yesterday I was quite tired after working in the garden for the second day which is why I didn't post anything. Today, I'm going to spend a little time writing about a hotel (and then on the town) which I haven't spent too much time on yet. This hotel in Nikko was a "traditional" Japanese-style (as opposed to Western style). That meant that it had all the amenities the Japanese visitor would appreciate: communal baths, ukatas (like a kimono but made of cotton and used as a bathrobe), bedrooms with sliding panels to separate private areas (bathroom, closets, etc.), and beds on the floor.
I took the first three photographs from inside the door to our "suite". There was a step as one entered the suite and on the right there was a room for the toilet (more about that later) and on the left was a closet area. Then I think there were two steps and on my left there was an alcove with a shelf and on the right was a shower/bath room. Looking straight ahead, as you can see, there were tatami mats with two "mattresses"on the mat with pillows and covered duvets (there was an oval opening to let the pretty comforter show through. As an aside, the beds were very comfortable. Beyond that was a table at which the Japanese would kneel to eat or write or whatever else they would at a table. Two chairs were provided for Westerners who sometimes have difficulty kneeling for any length of time, but they also have very short legs so they would work somewhat with the table. There was a large window which gave amazing views of the mountains.
Here David is writing in his log (which I will mention again has been invaluable to me in writing this blog and keeping everything straight).
Looking from within the room to the entryway.
When we walked into this hotel, this display was in one of the foyer's window display units. I just love it!
This bas relief was up near the ceiling of the two-story tall lobby. When I took this picture, we were on a walkway from one building to another which were linked by the huge lobby below us and the second floor walkway. While I do not have specific information, I believe it depicts two cranes rising toward the sun. Whatever it is, it was massive and beautiful.
Below are three photos that you have to pretend are one long one. The mountains actually overlap (more or less successfully and show you a panoramic view of the mountains from our room in the hotel. And there are also glimpses of the town.
Because we were up early, David and I had time to take a walk and get at least a brief look at this area of Japan. We turned right as we left the hotel and found a long staircase leading to the Friendship bridge. Bridges usually mean water (which I love) so I voted for going that way, and we did. I am so very glad - the views down into the gorge where the "angry demon (kinuta in Japanese) river" from the bridge were spectacular.
This next one was taken through the handrails on the bridge making rather a nice frame.
Demons painted permanently on the walkway in the bridge.
These tiles depicting what each child/teen felt was the "essence" of this city/area (I think - remember, everything was in Japanese!).
And - here is the piece-de-resistance - turning around to go back to the hotel, just look what was painted on the stairway. Coming down the stairs, one has no idea this exists, but going up? WOW! That's "kinuta"!
Just when you may have thought that was it for the art in this area:
Our hotel was on the left side of this stairway, and the above Art Wall (for lack of something better to call it) was on the right.
I haven't forgotten about the promise to discuss the toilets. It may merit an entire entry all its own which is why I haven't included it in this one.