A typhoon is passing through

Trip Start Sep 08, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Saturday, October 30, 2010

A typhoon is passing through.
That is not some melodramatic psychological metaphor but a meteorological fact. The epicentre is skirting along the southern, Pacific coast of Japan and this morning in Tokyo and throughout the day here in Nikko the rain has been heavy and utterly relentless. I have not seen this much rain since... well since we sat in the downpour from the last typhoon on the washed out qualifying day of the Grand Prix.
I'm sorry to say I've just about had my fill of Japan. It's not Japan's fault - it's mine. I'm absolutely shattered after three and a half weeks constantly on the move. My body is crying out for rest and I am so looking forward to getting on that ferry and being forced to remain still for two days. The JR Rail Pass has been phenomenal - a dream ticket, a ticket to ride, a passport to blah blah blah - and we have made absolutely full use of it. I haven't kept count of the number of trains we've been on - another little indulgently sedentary exercise I'm reserving for the ferry (<insert> by this stage the answer is 45 different Japanese trains so far) -  or how many kilometers of track we've passed over but we've certainly made sure we've got our money's worth and without it the whole Japan experience would have been quite different and even more limited. Having said all that, the only drawback with an unlimited ticket to travel to anywhere is that you try to travel everywhere and after 20 days of shinkansening the whole length of the country I am left physically and mentally drained.
And the rain today was the final hurdle over which I flopped. Making the most of our last two days of free JR we had decided to head up to Nikko for the night. Nikko with its World Heritage temples and stunning scenery - especially famous in its autumn livery. Nikko - the absolute must-see; as the posters say 'Nikko is Nippon'. Nikko - the Mecca of Japanese Buddhism - if that's not mixing up my religions in a way that offends all.
And we get here, in the rain, and all I want to do is sit in an onsen. All I want to do is to lie in bed. My body is just crying out for me to stop. Yes my knees still ache and twinge when I walk but mostly they just throb with tiredness.
Beth did not allow me to indulge in my onsen. We are in Nikko. It would be a waste not to visit the temples even if it is raining cats.
And so we do. And they are magnificent - of course - and the colours (if the sun had been out) I could imagine would have been amazing but, to my shame, I found myself just about all templed-out and would much preferred to have been where I am now, lying on my bed with a beer in hand, after a long soak in the hot tub, listening to the sound of the rain outside.
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