Well I caught a cold. Or perhaps the cold caught me. I can't say I am surprised as there seems to be something going around here right now. Don't worry, nothing crazy like SARS. Just a case of the sniffles. I should be right as rain tomorrow or the next day.
After a last day in Tokyo, spent exploring Shibuya, the palace gardens, and asakusa, we headed off to nikko! This quiet mountain town is often done as a day trip but, to save on stress, we stayed overnight. Our hostel was fantastic (very rustic with a wood burning stove and kerosene heaters) so we dropped our bags and went to visit the big temples and see the laughing monk statues. The proper names of both escape me, but it was a nice, relaxing little trip.
The hostel owners didn't speak much english but we were invited to participate in a gyoza making party! We got sake and helped make (and eat) the little dumplings. We also learned gyoza sauce is just vinegar an soy sauce. The only other guest at the hostel was a nice Australian named Tim, who seemed to be very experienced with Japan having made many trips here. Friends of the owners joined us also and we had a great time. I was sad to go.
Today we arrived in Osaka and wandered the famous shopping street, had conveyor belt sushi, and took hot showers. Bed time now, Nara day trip tomorrow.
Oh and I forgot my pajamas in Tokyo :(