Tomodachi Tour III

October 24 - November 6, 2017

This is the third tour to Japan by some members of the Combined Class of '69.

Thirty-nine alum of RHS'69, Kalani'69 and McKinley'69 are taking in Northern Japan this time.

RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim is your tour reporter...

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November 1 -  Day 8

Kinugawa - Niiko - Yokohama

The group heads from Kinugawa to Nikko, a town at the entrance to Nikko National Park. It's most famous for Toshogu, Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.

From there it's off to Yokohama for a new hotel along the many stops to come.

Once again the gang wakes up hungry and rushes downstairs for breakfast.

One again they're early and it's not yet open. So, wander the hotel for a bit where not much is open.

Once we got our fill we visited the famous Toshogu Shrine. If you are anywhere near Nikko, make it a point to visit this shrine. It is not like any other shrine you have visited. It is to honor Tokugawa Leyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

The first thing that will catch your eyes are the majestic red wood trees. Some 750 years old surrounding the shrine. Then the huge stone walls, carved to fit with no gaps all large than an automobile. The walls create a plateau for all to ascend up to the buildings.

Once up you see layers of buildings each more lavishly built than the one you just passed. Finally you reach the main building on top, it is not the top! Now you have to decide to climb the 1000 stone steps to the mausoleum of Tokugawa Leyasu.

Again, this shrine is not like any other you have seen...a must see.

We are at a rest stop. We need it.

Finally - the doors are flung open and they rush inside hoping they have the energy to get to the food line. Ah, sweet success.

Afterwards it's time to leave. Places to go, places to see, dinner in Yokohama.

Vincent now picks up the story...

After breakfast we all hit the road heading to Nikko. Driving thru the forest country side is mesmerizing.

This time of year the bright golden yellows, oranges and burgundy reds of the autumn leaves are so beautiful. Something we Hawaiians seldom see.  

We are now heading up the mountain to Lake Chuzenji via the Irohazaka zig-zag drive.

There are 20 hair pin turns going up and 28 tight-tight hair pin turns going down.

Yes, they can be scary

Once on top we reached Rynuzu Waterfall.

Typical Japan, there's a gift shop and ramen shop perched at the edge of the fall right at the best spot for photo taking.  Take your photos of the double falls and for the ladies, souvenir shopping and for the guys warm your soul from the nippy Autumn chill.

The end of another long bus ride. Another city approaches.

Goodbyes are made.

Everyone's tired and hungry.

Yokohama and the hotel. Sweet morpheus awaits.

Day 8 draws to a close but the journey continues...