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:
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:
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.
Chiko, our guide, posed with some sake barrels for us:
We walked to the Miyagawa Morning Market, along the banks of the Miyagawa Rier.
The stall holders sold all sorts of little knick-knacks, including lanterns and the little baby dolls the region is famous for:
There were still carp kites hanging from the cables across the river, from some festival in April.
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.
Ela wanted me to take a picture of the special Kit Kat flavoured sake. Sounds pretty yuck, actually 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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!
We had a look at the other exhibits, including some nice pottery/ceramics.
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… 😉
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:
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.
The path went onwards and if I didn’t have Ela waiting below, I might have explored further.
As we were coming back through the temple, we saw all these pictures in one of the pagodas:
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.
There were some good views on the climb up to the park. Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic!
Once we got to the top, we saw the graveyard on the one side and a lovely garden on the other:
And more views – some of the snow-capped mountains:
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:
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!
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.
We continued up the road and then turned off for our Ryokan, which leads past more rice fields and lovely old buildings:
We finally got back and then had a bit of a rest before dinner, which was at the Ryokan again. Delicious:
Chiko was holding forth about tour matters, all dressed up in the yakuta:
And then it was time for bed. I was too tired to finish the blog after all the walking!