24 hours in Hida Takayama

Posted on September 30, 2018 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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Stunning scenery of the mountains during the train journey to Takayama

 

Even though I am familiar with unpredictable weather, I wasn't fully prepared for the fluctuation of temperatures and weather while traveling around Japan. For the first 10 days of my trip in the Kansai region, I experienced exceptional warm and sunny weather (above 25 degrees). Yet as I headed northwards, the temperature had dropped down to around 12 degrees by the time I reached Hida Takayama. Located in mountainous region in Gifu, which is known as the Japan Alps, the city has an altitude of 562 m (1844 ft), hence it is called 'tall mountain' in Japanese. Although I was wearing my down vest, waterproof jacket and scarf, my enthusiasm was dampened by the cold and wet weather when I arrived.

 

Takayama

Takayama furniture

The modern-looking Takayama train station also showcases furniture made in the region

 

After dropping off my luggage at the Yamato luggage forwarding office near the train station (my saviour during my travels around Japan), I was craving for something hot and comforting. And so I headed into the nearby Hida noodle shop, where they specialise in handmade soba noodles, and it was exactly what I needed.

 

Takayama Hida  Takayama Hida

Hida noodle shop

 

After settling down at the ryokan, I spent the afternoon walking around the old town, which has been preserved with many buildings and streets (esp. Sannomachi Street) dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city was full of wealthy merchants. This area is also known as the "Little Kyoto", and like Kyoto, it does get very crowded during the touristy seasons.

 

Takayama

Takayama

Takayama  Takayama 

Takayama

Takayama

Takayama

 

Hida Takayama is particularly well-known for woodblock printing, and there are a number of handicraft shops that sell souvenir featuring this technique. One local specialty is the Shin Kougei animal dolls, which are all hand-printed and hand-sewn using the traditional techniques.

 

Hida Print Coffee Shop Baren

Hida Print Coffee Shop Baren

Hida Print Coffee Shop Baren

Hida Print Coffee Shop Baren

And if you want to admire the woodblock prints up-close, then you can do so at the Hida Print Coffee Shop Baren while enjoying some snacks and coffee at the same time. The cafe is a bit touristy, but it is quite cosy with good ambience.

 

Takayama

Takayama

Fujii Folk Craft Museum

 

Slightly put off by the rain and crowds in the streets, I paid a visit to the Fujii Folk Craft Museum (Fujii Bijutsu Mingeikan) situated inside a traditional storehouse, built entirely with Japanese cypress in the Edo Manryu style. It houses a collection of 2,500 historical art and craft items amassed by Dr. Fujii, including some fascinating household items/ everyday objects.

 

HIDA TAKAYAMA FACTORY Dolce and Kitchen  HIDA TAKAYAMA FACTORY Dolce and Kitchen

HIDA TAKAYAMA FACTORY Dolce and Kitchen

 

On my way back to the ryokan, I could resist the ice cream poster outside of HIDA TAKAYAMA FACTORY Dolce and Kitchen, and I opted for a Mont blanc ice cream, which was one of the best ice creams I have had during my trip. I love eating ice cream in cold weather – I just found it immensely pleasurable!

 

Takayama

Takayama  Takayama

Takayama

Takayama

 

My lodging in Hida Takayama was a traditional ryokan called Oyado Yamakyu. It is popular with tourists because it is good value and the service is friendly and accommodating. I was really impressed with the multi-course dinner (and breakfast), which was included in my room rate; the food just kept coming... until I was almost unable to move. Yet it was all fresh, delicious and healthy, so I didn't feel too guilty after the feast.

 

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takayama

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Dinner at Oyado Yamakyu

 

To be continued...

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This post was posted in Architecture, Travel, Traditional arts & crafts, Anything Japanese, Architectural conservation, Japan, woodblock printing, Folk arts & Mingei and was tagged with traditional crafts, folk arts & craft, Japan, Japanese architecture, woodblock printing, Hida Takayama

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