Thursday, 4 February 2016

Travel: Japan 2016 Day 21 // Takayama

It has been about 3 weeks since I left wonderful Japan and went straight into the hustles of work T.T
Blog had to be abandoned for a while until today. So time to try to continue what's been left off...


Takayama is home to a number of sake breweries, mostly can be found along the old streets.

The day was crisp and cold, so what was the perfect thing to do? Sample as much sake as we could!

And then we entered this one shop and asked if we could sample their sake. The lady told us if we wanted to sample it free-of-charge, we could only sample one sake. However she proposed us to purchase their ceramic sake cup for 200 yen then we were allowed to sample all their sake on display (and we get to keep the cups.)


We did what any sane-sake-loving adult would do: paid 600 yen (for the 3 of us) and practically stood in front of their refrigerator for the next 2 hours sampling each and every bottle on display. 

Life's good, y'all (btw, our favourite was the top right bottle, which we also purchased to be consumed later on that night... :D)


Takayama is a beautiful little town to spend leisure time and relax. With lots of hidden small eateries, you could easily skip your main meals and just fill yourself in with filling snacks :)
We went to Fukutaro (福太郎) for some light snacks. Their gohei mochi is sooo good.

福太郎 (Fukutaro)
58 Shimosannomachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan


Really nice Karaage chicken at Miyagawa Morning Market, and Hida Beef Burger at Hanamizuki

And at night we ate with our AirBnB host - Hiroto-san - to one of the small eateries which I wouldn't have known if he didn't show us. I also forgot to note the name *kicks self*

Tofu Steak, Keechan (a bit of like chicken stew hotpot), Kebab, and Tempura (and a few bottle of sake which I didn't post picture of :))

Definitely a memorable experience and a wonderful place to stay in Takayama

The next day we went to Shirakawa-Go and it's pretty picture loaded, so I'll make a separate blogpost for it.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Travel: Japan 2016 Day 20 // Takayama // Walk: Miyagawa Morning Market; Hachimangu Shrine // Eat: Matsuri


I had been to Takayama before. I put Takayama on my itinerary this time mainly was to show my travelling companions (who haven't visited Japan before at all) that there are quaint old towns - like Takayama - that is 'Japanese', not just the hustle bustle of Tokyo or Osaka.

So that was what we did exactly - immersing ourselves amidst the old structured houses, beautiful old shrines (not quite as grand as the ones in Kyoto but no less charming) . Quite honestly, I am not sure if my younger travelling companion liked this kind of town as much as 1/2heart and I do (and my other traveling companion left earlier than planned back to Sydney).

Oh well...

The first thing we noticed this morning when we opened the window slide.

Unfortunately, later on the day the sun was out and the snow quickly melted :(

First we visited Miyawaga River morning market. Either it was not morning enough when we visited, or a lot of the stalls were not opened because of the snow... . Pretty quiet... .

What's a visit to a market without food?
Must try when you are in Takayama: Hida Beef Bun, Gohei Mochi, Hida Beef skewers & Croquette, and I-don't-know-what-these-egg-things-are-called-but-they're-good.

We had lunch at 鍛治橋. Good ramen & Hida beef over rice. Not so for the Hida beef nigiri sushi (very sinewy).

3 Chome-62 Honmachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0011

Off to the Yatai/Float Museum (Matsuri Yataikaikan - admission fee JPY820 and it also includes admission to another museum besides it), just by the entrance of Hachimangu Shrine... .

Incredible massive floats on display. Not all floats are displayed in the museum. Some are stored in their own storehouses. But every year the 11 floats would be out during the Takayama festival (April 14/15 and October 9/10)

Of course we also visited the shrine.

I love Sanmachi Old Street and other preserved old streets of Takayama. This time it was much less crowded than when we visited last year in summer.

And of course the incredible Miyagawa River with the ever existing fish..


From Hiroto's recommendation, we had dinner at Matsuri. A very small eatery selling homemade food. Very tasty & cheap. We sat by the counter and there was only one lady preparing all the food. Pace was slow but food came steadily.

Tori Kara-age was particularly delicious. All of these costed only JPY 2200.

Matsuri (祭)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Travel: Japan 2016 Day 19 // Yudanaka; Takayama // Walk: Jigokudani Yaen Koen // Eat: Kyo-Ya - Takayama


As we didn't get to visit the monkey park yesterday, our mission was to do it this morning. Instead of taking the shuttle bus provided by Shensinkan Matsuya, we decided to walk our way there to beat the morning visitors rush.

The walk was about 30 minutes (if you took the shuttle bus or bus/taxi, it would take you to Kanbayashi Onsen area where it's only 15 minutes walk to the monkey park).

There was only dribs and drabs of melted snow.

Passing by Kourakukan - a rustic ryokan located right by the monkey park entrance. Next time I visit, I want to stay here!

The monkeys were ultra cute!


As always, there's always that one poser...

Comparison of me from 2007 :) (Don't normally put in our pictures)



The little one kept bothering the mum (?) and she finally had enough and bit it.

After having our fill of the monkeys, we headed back down to Kanbayashi onsen area, stopping by to have snack at Erza Cafe (awesome sweet potato fry, by the way!).  They also sell ramen for eat-in. We didn't get to try though.

And walked our way to pick up our luggage that had been dropped off to a nearby cafe (cafe Miyako - a good friend of Shensinkan Matsuya's owners), boarded the train from Yudanaka back to Nagano station.

1 degreeeee

This guy... oh this little guy.. I wanted to take him homeee

We had lunch at Pomme's, a restaurant specializing in Omu-rice (Omelette rice). For the hungry, you can also opt to have bigger size of the omu-rice.

Arriving at Takayama around 6.30 p.m., we took taxi to our accommodation for the night. We booked it through AirBNB as well, and Taka no Yu is an awesome place to stay.
It is a public bath/sento :)

Our luggage were already in our rooms. I have said it before and will say it again: Japan's Takkyubin or Yupack service is awesome!


So, We are in Takayama. What to eat for dinner?

Hida beef!!!

We walked to Kyo-ya, around 13 minutes from Taka no Yu.

Guys, their home made umeshu is seriously awesome. Get some!

They have english menu as well.

Kyo-Ya ( 飛騨高山 京や)
Tel: +81 577-34-7660

I am so happy :)