A day-trip to Nikko: Intro Hello Friends! Today was joyous. Splendid, if you will! I had the day off work and my friend from work graciously invited me to come with her to Nikko. Since I came to Japan she has taken me to many places and events. Super hospitable it is astounding. Today we set off early. I took the train to meet her at 7:30 a.m. From there, she drove us about one hour to another station where we boarded the Nikko train line. Nikko, is a famous ancient mountainous city chock full of temples and shrines, hotels and onsens. In fact, she said it has over 100. It is a world heritage site. I’d forgotten, but my dad reminded me our family has visited here on more than one occasion. There is something about visiting when you are a kid, however, that makes visiting as an adult feel like a completely new experience.
Sightseeing in Nikko: We went to the most famous of temples and walked through other various famous spots. I was most taken by the natural beauty. The trees were so wide and tall, with moss covering their roots so thick. We saw one tree which had combined with another tree over time. The story goes that just like a married couple, the two unique trees bound to become one. Naturally, she and I “oohed” and “awed” over that story. Beautiful, isn’t it? At the temples and shrines, like most Christians I committed myself to spending time talking to God. Yes – the real God, the only God. There is nothing more powerful and peaceful to know that these man-made buildings, and human-forged monuments have nothing on the power of the only, the alpha, the omega, the omnipotent God I serve. God spins circles around the devil – the devil is powerless to Him. Nonetheless, it does break my heart to see people bowing to a wood building, or paying for prayers of “protection”. We walked 200 steps to a former king’s gravesite. This king is known for in the 15th century abolishing Christianity and thereby forcing many Christians to flee Japan. How thankful I am that today that is no longer the case and Japanese are able to believe in God without fear of persecution.
Yuba, Yuba and more Yuba: For lunch, we had a “yuba” meal. Yuba, famously made in Nikko, is the skin casing of tofu. When tofu is made (when soybeans are processed and fermented), a top level skin develops which is called yuba. So in our lunch every item contained yuba. A yuba and potato fried patty, a yuba dumpling, yuba soup, yuba dessert, etc. The most interesting thing was we also were served soy milk. This must be real soy milk, I thought. Indeed it tasted like soybeans, as soy milk should. It had relatively no similarity to the soymilk I’ve had in the States which makes me wonder what kind of processed junk they feed us. Haha! I digress. Our trip back was full of many rest stops, and a deep conversation on our life dreams. I’ll end today with some time to catch up on this blog and by taking a warm bath. Love & Peace, Jacqueline