Sunday, 27 May 2012

Takayama Edo Era Houses

Hida-Takayama is in the mountains and somewhat difficult to get to by any direct route from Tokyo. For us it was easier going to Nagoya then Fukui and finally Takayama. Regardless it appears to be a very popular place as we saw as many foreigners here as anywhere else in Japan. For me this was a little disconcerting. Like Kobe and Yonezawa it is renowned for its marbled beef. Very delicious, but also very expensive.
We checked into the Country Hotel and then went for a walk in the heritage area of old blackened wood houses. The evenings are bright a little longer and we found a very nice restaurant that served combination dinners (limited menu) including the marbled beef - oishii!
The next day we wandered around, saw a farmer's market, the Kusakabe heritage house, various shrines including the Sakurayama-Hachimagu shrine.
We saw many gift shops selling various items including the pickled radish famous here, a furniture store ($$$ or is that ¥¥¥) and metal sculptures which the locals are proud of.
We had coffee in a quaint little shop along with zenzai (azuki beans in a sweet sauce - my favourite) and a sliver of a skewer with three tiny pieces of beef (1cm by 3 cm) for 600¥ or Canadian $8.00 - outrageous, but very tasty.
This was the off season here so not all businesses were open and supposedly not that many people, but incredibly buses were meandering through the narrow streets of the old area loaded with tourists - ridiculous.
We photographed a Shinto priest on the street getting ready to perform a ceremony for protection against (guess what?), no not foreigners, but rather against fire, which in these streets would be catastrophic as the houses have no space between them.

Click on link to see photographs on Picasa of Takayama Edo Era.

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