I had really wanted to go to Takayama to see their well preserved Edo styled streets. We caught two JR trains from Tokyo station to get us to Takayama. The bullet train is truly very fast, I could barely stand up without wobbling. Always bring a snack or a whole meal with you, food truly makes the time go faster. Takayama is a very small town and we just walked everywhere. We went for a run in the morning and it was a lovely way to see most of the town. Everything also closes early so it’s best to eat dinner early on in the evening or you’ll have little restaurants to choose from!
Takayama Green Hotel
lose to the train station is the Takayama Green hotel which wasn’t where we stayed. Next to it was a large gift shop. Just outside is a free foot bath which was a nice soak after all the walking we’ve been doing in Tokyo. Inside the building was the gift shop where they sold souvenirs and cookies and pickled vegetables and cakes. You could sample almost everything, they were all laid out in plastic boxes. I was so giddy going around trying everything. I had wanted to go to an onsen while in Japan but I couldn’t go to many of them because of my back tattoo. Here we found out we could book the private onsen for 45 minutes. They had two types, one was stone and the other was wood. We loved the first time so much we came back a second type to try the wooden one. One of the souvenirs they are known for in this region is a Sarubobo doll which was something grandmas and mothers would make for children and they would tuck a piece of paper with their well wishes in their pouch. We saw a section where a woman was teaching people how to make one and we wanted to make one too. The woman spoke not a word of English but we all managed through lots of pointing and body language.
Hida Morning market
Save your breakfast appetite for the Hida Morning market. The street is lined with food stalls and shops. The shops selling food for souvenirs will have lots of samples for you to try too. We started from the west side of the morning market and ended on the east side where it conveniently led into old town. The streets are beautifully preserved with houses dating back to the Edo era. This is where lined up (again!) for Hida beef sushi, it was definitely worth waiting for. There were also sake breweries, a taiyaki shop, kimono shops and cafes.
Hida Folk Village
We walked 45 minutes to Hida Folk Village, it’s an open museum with 30 traditional houses that they have moved from the Hida region. We loved walking through the old houses, going upstairs and exploring. Every month they have a different exhibition, when we went we saw Japanese dolls on display. Near the middle of the museum, we came across a house where a man was inside weaving straw sandals. There was also self serve hot soup which came in handy because it was a chilly day. Just outside of the museum, there was a building where you could learn how to make traditional crafts.
Centre 4 Burgers
I wanted to come here the first night but they were full for the night and so we made reservations for the next night. The restaurant had a very eclectic feel to it. We tried the Hida beef burger and a regular burger. Hida beef is a must try in this region, I could taste the difference between the two burgers and I preferred the Hida beef one even though Nick liked both.