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Day 8 Japan - Kanazawa to Takayama

JAPAN | Monday, 11 November 2019 | Views [61]

Day 8 Kanazawa to Takayama

Time to zip up our suitcases again and travel to a new town, Takayama. Our route took us out of the city and up into and through the mountains, literally, to the Gifu prefecture. The mountains in this area a traversed by many kilometres of tunnels; 4 lane highways. Remarkable engineering. And when they don’t go through the middle they have bridges that skirt the edges. We made our first stop at Shirakawago and explored the typical mountain style village and the gassho style thatched houses that have been occupied for hundreds of years. The village was originally known for silk and gunpowder production. It is now a protected Unesco World Heritage Area.

It was chilly outside and raining on and off so we sought refuge for a while in one of the many restaurants (catering to the many tourists visiting along with us today). It was warm and inviting and simple, tasty and warming meals were enjoyed around the table. The sun came out again as we wandered back through the village and over the suspension walking bridge to the bus. With another hour on board through more tunnels and across valleys filled with autumn colours we stopped at the edge of Takayama at the Hida Folk Village. It’s an open air museum exhibiting traditional houses from the Hida region, the mountainous area of the Gifu Prefecture around Takayama, and laid out as a traditional village would have been, during the Edo period. The changing colours of the trees in this area are just so beautiful, and when the sun came out everything seemed to shimmer with red and gold. There was fun had by us, as we dressed in traditional clothing to pose for pics, and tried our hand at walking on bamboo stilts and hand crafted spinning tops. I visited the “wedding house”. This space depicted the process of the traditional wedding, which took place over 4 days in both the bride’s family home and the groom’s family home; with gifting and eating through days and nights. I found a beautiful tree, gnarled and twisted from many years of growth, yet spectacular in her seasonal colours.

A short drive later and we were at the Takayama Green Hotel, tonight’s resting place. This hotel has its own onsen, a public, shared bathing space. We haven’t experienced it yet…maybe early tomorrow 😊. We settled in to our room and joined Rod & Sara in the bar for drinks and then headed out in the wet and cold evening in search of dinner. It’s the random spontaneous restaurants that have given us the most flavoursome pleasure and this one was no exception; although we were a little challenged at having to remove shoes and sit on the floor; our legs and feet are still somewhat stiff and sore from our mammoth walking efforts earlier in the week. But the food was plentiful and delicious.

Ready for a restful sleep to be able to hit the road again tomorrow.

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