Leaving Japan Tomorrow

I am so very depressed. We are leaving Japan tomorrow. I don't want to go. I'm not yet ready for our holiday to end. There is still so much to see and do. Whether due to jet lag or someother reason, I had trouble sleeping last night. I decided that things need to change when we return to Australia. Time to think about the future. I do know that I am deeply unhappy with the state of my country, though I wonder if it is somewhat more pronounced in Sydney. After all my thinking I managed to get perhaps an hour of sleep before we awoke to ready ourselves for today's trip to Nikko. We purchased a one day Free Kippu - a ticket allowing unlimited rides on the suburban rail system.We caught the metro system from SHinjuku to Asakua, then bought tickets for the Tobu line to Nikko. The Tobu "Spacia" train was like a toy on the incredibly tightly curved railway platform. The journey gave us a good view of typical Japanese suburbs. These tended to be dingy places, but with carefully manicured topiary and pot plants around the houses. There were communal vegetable gardens and rice paddies mixed in with the narrow homes and units. The landscapes became steadily more beautiful the closer we got to Nikko, chaging to forested mountains. There was even a park with waterwheels on the left of the train. From the station we walked up to the famous Shinkyo Sacred Bridge and were overwhelmed by the beauty of the clear mountain water flowing down through a valley of greens and reds, evergreen and autumn foliage. The temples were themselves works of art, adorned with stone and wood carvings. The odd red or yellow maples standing within the compounds added a magical beauty to the settings. Our time ended all too quickly and we had to walk fast to reach the station. We ended up standing on the return trip for a short while as the rapid "unreserved" train was quite full. Upon our return to Tokyo we wandered around historic Asakusa, searchin for pottery shop we had visited on our last trip. We found it and ended up bringing two bags of ceramic plates and trays back with us. The items are finely glazed, yet very cheap. Great gifts - many of them to ourselves. Could have stayed longer at Asakusa, but most of the shops were closed by then. So we moved to Akihabara and were disappointed by the computer prices. It was 9pm by the time we returned to Shinjuku - a dinner of tonkatsu and off to bed. Wandered around