I love this small town. I loved Tokyo and Kyoto too but I think after a week of big cities, Takayama was a perfect place to come to. I decided on a whim to come here a day or two before we arrived and I can’t remember what it was that drew me here but whatever it was I’m glad I came.
Takayama is full of historic buildings so it has a very quaint and charming feel to it. It’s also small so virtually everything is about 10 minutes from the main train and bus station ( the two are next to each other ) either by foot or by bus. They have th is city mascot type doll that is called a baby monkey that grandmas used to make for their families for various types of good luck — marriage and family, scholarly success, financial success, etc. It is the cutest thing ever (I’ll post a photo when I can).
And the local cuisine is interesting. First there’s the local Hida beef which is amazing. Then there’s the rice flour balls on a skewer cooked with what tastes like soy sauce on a grill. You can find them everywhere — at the morning market it’s 60 yen. At the corner stands they’re 70 yen and you can smell them cooking on lots of these streets. The same with the smell of Hida beef grilling coming out of restaurants here. There are also bunches of small vendors that sell meat on a stick like Hida beef and ostrich and they grill it in front of you when you order it (the ostrich was gooooood). There’re are also lots of places th at sell little steamed buns with Hida beef in the middle. Mmmmmm….the beef is soooo good. Nice and fatty and delicious. I had a Hida beef steak last night for dinner and it was so tender and delicious and flavorful.
There’s also water everywheree. The Miya-gawa and the Enako-gawa rivers run through the city so there are tons of little bridges and the rushing of water and it adds to the city’s charm.
Josh was sick most of today so I wandered around by myself — he wasn’t sick enough that I couldn’t leave him — and it was nice to wander without feeling bad if i got lost and walking around without any direction – just going where the prettiest streets took me. I visited some museums, two lovely coffee shops, and wandered through the quaint streets and loved it. And Josh was fine by dinner time :)