Three Views of Nikko
Super Junior, Siwon/OC/Donghae
PG, AU, ~7,500w
Two days in Nikko through the eyes of three people.
Note: While this is loosely based on Ariel Lin’s Fireflies mv, I originally intended this as a travel memoir for a trip to Japan my two friends and I took in October 2009. Almost all the places do exist, and any mention of tourists is completely intentional ^^
Siwon: Part I
Nikko is just the same as he remembers.
Siwon hitches his backpack onto his shoulders, the crisp air refreshing after the JR train ride from Tokyo. As he walks up the slope towards the Tobu bus terminal he surveys the homely yuba ramen outlets, the tiny souvenir shops, the forested mountains in the distance which almost resemble a painting through the mist. Of all the towns he stayed in during his years in Japan, Nikko holds special meaning for him for its contrast of quiet suburbia with historical magnificence, its stunning yet solemn natural splendour, as well as –
The Korean greeting sounds both familiar and alien. Siwon raises his hand in acknowledgement, chuckling as Donghae bounds forward with all the energy of an eager puppy.
“Siwonnie! It’s so good to see you again – you haven’t changed at all!”
“Same to you, you’re just as skinny as ever – or have you grown even thinner?! Haven’t you eaten enough onigiri yet?! Anyway, did you wait long?”
“No, not at all… come on, I’ve already gotten us a table at Hippari Dako…”
Along the walk to the tiny eatery they trade stories about the years that have passed since they last met and Siwon finds himself laughing, laughing as he hasn’t done for a long time. It almost feels as if they were back in the school clubroom again, joking and pushing each other around as they gathered up their cameras to rush off on whatever theme had been set for that week. Those times are perhaps the best in Siwon’s life and his only regret is, ironically, not capturing more of their schooldays on film, even more so because he and Donghae were considered the best in the photography club. He almost feels envious listening to his friend’s animated account of his summer trip to Tibet on assignment; although he enjoys his current position as a teacher, holidays such as the one he is now on are the only chances he has to take out his cherished camera once again.
“I can’t wait to show you my photos, though you probably know Nikko inside out.”
“Yeah, but I only spent the spring here. You’ve been here since… August? It’ll be interesting to see the seasonal changes.”
“Yeah, they’re beautiful. Anyway…” Donghae looks down. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this earlier, but my friend’s going to join us at Hippari Dako.”
Siwon chuckles, clapping him on the back. “Yah, you’ve only been here for three months and you’ve already found a girlfriend? Don’t worry, I’ll tell her all about your faults - ”
He stops his teasing as both of them duck under the noren curtain adorning the entrance of Hippari Dako, the tangy scent of teriyaki immediately assaulting his senses. Siwon looks around, smiling as he recognises the walls plastered with appreciative notes from customers, the refrigerator cluttered with glass bottles of orange juice, the proudly ancient wooden tables and chairs; Hippari Dako is famed for its toriyaki and its hospitality and Siwon remembers queuing for a seat countless times but at this point in the late afternoon there is only one table occupied by a girl, who is already turning around to greet them as they approach -