After Ioji temple we were off to Nikko by car (kuruma). We went to see areas on the outskirts and as the Fukuda's put it areas usually only seen by foreigners and of which many Japanese people were not aware of.
Nikko is the place that the people of Utsunomiya are very proud of. We drove along a long avenue with sugi trees on both sides which were probably planted at about the time of the original shoguns or Japanese military rulers. This avenue was only for the use of the shogunate in their travels to and from Edo (Tokyo). I suspect any commoners found here would be in need of heaven's intervention. It is a little surprising to see the adulation given to the shogun's of yesteryear considering that the vast majority of Japanese people would simply exist to provide taxes in the form of rice etcetera to sustain the wealth of the ruling class. Nikko is where the most famous shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa is actually buried. Shizuoka has a memorial site for Ieyasu as he spent a lot of time there, including many of his formative years.
Near the avenue is an ankle breaking footpath which is depicted in many of the photographs on Picasa. This path meanders past many interesting and beautiful sites as well as shrines some of which are due to the monk that first settled this part of the country and so to speak, put it on the map. The trees here are huge as the photographs demonstrate.
Next we were off again to see the famous lake Chuzenjiko up on the mountain, a waterfall named Dragon Waterfall (Ryuzu) due to it torturous path. We saw snow in the mountains and in town one photograph of piled snow next to a parking lot demonstrates how much snow falls in this country.
More photographs can be seen on Picasa at Nikko Road.