Waking up in Nikko

Everyone has their own sense of decor. And temporality. Tonight I’m going to write more about my spring vacation, but I’m jumping back to the beginning whereas my last post was about the end. I know this is pretty nonlinear but I’ll leave it to someone else to piece together the chronology.

Perhaps I’m unconcerned about the sequence of events because of the physics lectures I’ve been listening to—I’m halfway through Richard Wolfson’s audio course called Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists. You can find out more about it at The Teaching Company’s website. Or my sense of narrative could be skewed by the Ursula K. LeGuin essays (yes, essays) I read in my formative years.

But I started off by talking about decor. As I said, everyone has their own sense of it. We stayed in Nikko for three nights. I think I wrote elsewhere that Nikko is about 2 hours north of Tokyo by train, and that it has many old temples that are designated as World Heritage Sites.

We stayed at the Nikko Narusawa Lodge, which in the taxonomy of the hospitality industry is a minshuku, or family-run inn. The inn was quite pleasant, and reasonably priced. It was a 15-minute or so hike from the station but in a quiet area overlooking a small construction yard and beyond that a stream. While the construction yard wasn’t very picturesque, there wasn’t a whole lot of activity there—mostly just equipment and materials storage—so it was quiet. Quiet enough to hear the stream.

Lia, Jarrod and I had a Japanese-style room with tatami floors and futons, and a ceiling light with this amusing creature on the end of the pull-string. As luck would have it, I got to sleep on the middle futon and therefore under her watchful eye. Each night I felt a little odd with this strange bedtime vision, and every morning I’d wake up with this as the first thing I saw. I think she had some sisters, because there were more of her number in the china cabinet in the common room. I wonder if she ever gets lonely.

Waking up in Nikko