Japan Food Tour – Takayama

Got up to a beautiful morning, aching all over from sleeping on a futon on tatami mats. Boy did I feel old!

It was cool but lovely out, and there was time to photograph some flowers and admire the view before coming in to breakfast. I had the Japanese breakfast and Ela the Western:

Breakfast at Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Breakfast at Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Breakfast at Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Breakfast at Murayama Ryokan, Takayama

We then headed off into Takayama. Our first stop was at the markets near the Takayama Jinya. There were lots of little old ladies selling their vegies:

Markets near Takayama Jinya
Markets near Takayama Jinya
Markets near Takayama Jinya
Markets near Takayama Jinya

From there we wandered down a few roads through the old town. Both sides of the street were preserved in this old style of building. The inside were nearly all shops or sake breweries or restaurants and cafes.

Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town

Chiko, our guide, posed with some sake barrels for us:

Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town

We walked to the Miyagawa Morning Market, along the banks of the Miyagawa Rier.

Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town

The stall holders sold all sorts of little knick-knacks, including lanterns and the little baby dolls the region is famous for:

Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama

There were still carp kites hanging from the cables across the river, from some festival in April.

Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama

We passed lots and lots of little shrines on nearly every street corner and river bank! We saw lots of little deity statues about, too. They’re supposed to bring luck to the town.

Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama

Ela wanted me to take a picture of the special Kit Kat flavoured sake. Sounds pretty yuck, actually 🙂

Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama
Around Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama

We wandered over to the sake brewery that we’d passed earlier in the day, and had a sake tasting. There were so many people queuing up, I didn’t want to taste very many. Some of the group certainly went to town with it!

Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town
Inside a Sake distillery, Takayama Old Town

We wandered back out on the streets of the old town. I wanted a coffee in one of the nice coffee shops. I tried to talk some of the others into it, but they wanted to just go to an ordinary coffee shop on the main road. I wasn’t interested and had found a traditional tea house around the corner, so Ela and I went there. It was beautiful! And the price of coffee was no higher than other coffee shops we’d been to (cheaper than some!). The surrounding were worth it though!

Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama
Cafe Ao, Takayama

We decided to have a look at one of the Heritage Houses and ended up at the Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building. It was owned by a local merchant who was quite well to do. It’s a lovely old building. It has some furniture and cabinets with exhibits of local crafts etc. and daily use items.

Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama

They even gave us a cup of green tea and a bit of a rest from the inside of the house to going out to the warehouse for more exhibits. The slippers they had for us to put on were hilarious, though! Much too short!

Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama

We had a look at the other exhibits, including some nice pottery/ceramics.

Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama
Kusakabe Mingeikan Heritage Building, Takayama

We then headed onwards towards the temple. There was a sign for Fuku Fuku – whatever that may be. I don’t know why Ela wanted me to photograph that… 😉

Walking around Takayama Old Town
Walking around Takayama Old Town
Well then!! Takayama
Well then!! Takayama

There were shoolkids everywhere, singing out ‘Hello!’ to us.

We had intended to go to the Festival Floats Museum, but they wanted 820 Yen to see 4 or 5 floats, so we decided to give it a miss and just look at the temple next door instead:

Near Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Near Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama

There was a stairway up the mountain, so I went to investigate. There’s another little temple or shrine up there, with some lovely views.

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama

The path went onwards and if I didn’t have Ela waiting below, I might have explored further.

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama

As we were coming back through the temple, we saw all these pictures in one of the pagodas:

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama

Since we had quite a bit of time before meeting Chiko at the train station, we decided to go for a wander through the park. But first we had to find it…. The houses and garages on this road were quite small.

Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama

There were some good views on the climb up to the park. Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic!

Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama

Once we got to the top, we saw the graveyard on the one side and a lovely garden on the other:

Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama

And more views – some of the snow-capped mountains:

Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama

We couldn’t find the path to the other side of the park, so we came back down the same side of the mountain we’d gone up, but still managed to somehow go a different way. There were lot sof little vegetable gardens along the way. Really pretty. We even saw a fellow working in one:

Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama
Views around Kitayama Park, Takayama

We still hadn’t had lunch, so we stopped at this little hole-in-the-wall place opposite the Heritage House from earlier, and had a range of things to try. The Hida Beef skewer and the rice and sweet miso one (that looks like an ice block) were so nice!

Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama
Lunch in the Old Town, Takayama

We strolled past the river back to the station and reserved our seats for the rest of our railway trips in Japan, after the tour, and then waited for Chiko to go to the Onsen. The Onsen is at a local hotel. It was nice. Ela couldn’t go in because of her swollen ankle problem, unfortunately.

On the way back we walked past this tiny rice paddy next to the underpass. So funny, having a rice paddy in the middle of town.

Walking between Takayama Green Hotel and Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Walking between Takayama Green Hotel and Murayama Ryokan, Takayama

We continued up the road and then turned off for our Ryokan, which leads past more rice fields and lovely old buildings:

Walking between Takayama Green Hotel and Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Walking between Takayama Green Hotel and Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Walking between Takayama Green Hotel and Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Walking between Takayama Green Hotel and Murayama Ryokan, Takayama

We finally got back and then had a bit of a rest before dinner, which was at the Ryokan again. Delicious:

Dinner at the Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Dinner at the Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Dinner at the Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Dinner at the Murayama Ryokan, Takayama

Chiko was holding forth about tour matters, all dressed up in the yakuta:

Chiko at dinner at the Murayama Ryokan, Takayama
Chiko at dinner at the Murayama Ryokan, Takayama

And then it was time for bed. I was too tired to finish the blog after all the walking!

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