It has been 18 years since I last visited Nikko (日光), an idyllic city nestled in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture (栃木県) two hours from Tokyo by train. My memories of the place have yellowed, but time has only made the heart grow fonder. So when I decided to spend Chinese New Year in Tokyo this year, I made certain that a proper visit, long overdue, was paid to the City of Sunlight.
I planned a three-day sojourn at a ryokan (旅館; traditional inn) in the town of Kinugawa (鬼怒川). A popular onsen resort in the city of Nikko, the town was named after the Kinugawa River, which literally means the wrath of demons. Far less sinister than its name suggests, the sleepy town is home to thousands of retirees eager to chat up visitors who cross their paths...
Read the rest of this essay in HONG KONG State of Mind, available at major bookstores in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.
|HONG KONG State of Mind|