Blogs from Gifu, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama November 15th 2013

Wat is Takayama een heerlijke stad! Het heeft een overzichtelijke centrum. De hoofdwinkelstraat is niet mooi maar de kwaliteit van de winkels maken dit meer dan goed. Alles wat je hier koopt, of het nu lakwerk, porselein of voedsel is, alles is lokaal gemaakt. Vanwege de regen zijn we uitgebreid aan het winkelen geslagen en hebben heerlijk koffie met appeltaart genuttigd bij Don's coffee. (zie Tripadvisory voor de review over dit koffiehuis.) Na het opklaren van het weer hebben we toch nog een paar tempel bezocht. Deze lagen hoger dan de rest van de stad en nu konden we goed zien hoe de stad omringt is door een hooggebergte. Indrukwekkende bergen. Met besneeuwde toppen. Daarna terug naar de minshuku, weer heerlijk gegeten en gebadderd. Vroeg naar bed want morgen moeten we weer vroeg op.... read more
Het uitzicht van onze kamer
De (verregende) markt
De hoofdwinkelstraat

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida November 15th 2013

It's a bit of an arduous journey to get to Takayama from Tsumago. Both are deep in the mountains of the Gifu prefecture. We had to travel all the way back east to Nagoya and then venture west again on another line again to get to Takayama. The scenery made the troubles worthwhile. Takayama is a bit of a Japanese hillbilly town. If rednecks are in Japan, they live around the hills here. But it is also a town of craftsmanship, history, cooking and Japanese pride. Here is where some of the finest lacquerware is made. And here is where the finest carpenters were sourced to build the temples of Kyoto. We had the chance to visit the Yoshijima House. The owner, a wealthy sake brewer and money lender, commissioned a local carpenter to build a ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama November 14th 2013

Vandaag de meest fantastische treinreis gemaakt van Tsumago naar Takayama. Het sublieme berglandschap is adembenemend. In de trein zelf was het helaas bijna tropisch. Het hoogst bereikbare temperatuur was 24,7 graden. We legden het bijna af, zeker omdat een van de medepassagiers trui en jas aanhield. De eerste kennismaking met Takayama is prettig. Een overzichtelijk centrum met veel prachtige winkeltjes in een mix van lokaal toeristische artikelen en dagelijks levensonderhoud. In welke categorie de tractorwinkel valt ben ik nog niet uit. De historische huizen zijn goed onderhouden. Een van de huizen is een museum die wij van bezocht hebben. In het huis was voor mij de gastvrouw eigenlijk de grootste attractie. Ze bood ons thee aan en eenmaal op haar Engelse praatstoel was ze er niet vanaf te krijgen. Ze vertelde haar verhaal met een sterk ... read more

Asia » Japan » Gifu November 13th 2013

Tsumago and Magome After a long morning of travel from Tokyo involving all scale of train from the Shinkansen to a tiny dodeskaden train run by a slightly wacky engineer talking and gesturing to himself, we ended up in our next destination Tsumago. In this tiny rural mountain village we spent the last two nights in a very traditional ryokan. A little like camping on tatami mats. And there was the temperature difference of about 15 degrees. Here it froze at night. We spent the first afternoon walking around the tiny Tsumago. This was one of the first towns to be at the front of a movement to preserve old historic towns in Japan. Tsumago was one of the villages on the old postal route from Edo (Tokyo). It dates back to the 1600s. Basically a ... read more
Magome
Da bears.
Bear Bell

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Shirakawa-go July 22nd 2013

Day 7 – Shirakawa-go When I woke up, the owners served a fancy Japanese breakfast consisting of many things that I had no idea what they were. Some kind of raw fish, cold soy beans in a sweet sauce, a hot plate of fish and some paste on a leaf, and a few other unusual items. I headed out into the village, firstly going to the information centre to book my bus (as it is reservation only) to Kanazawa. First I went to the Gassho-zukuri Minka –en, which was an outdoor museum with over a dozen of the traditional gassho-zukuri rustic farmhouses. The homes were made from wood in a largely familiar Japanese style but the roofs were unique. The area gets thick snow and cold winters, so the roofs have a very steep ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama July 21st 2013

Day 6 – Takayama After a well-deserved 14 hour sleep, I headed out into Takayama deciding to follow the local tourist map’s 2 separate walking tours of Takayama, and heading to Shirakawa-Go in the evening. First I headed up to the miniscule morning market outside of Takayama-Jinya; the oldest surviving governmental office used by the Tokugawa shogunate and built in 1615. It was in use by the local government until 1969. Takayama was one of the few places, along with Kanazawa and Kyoto, to miss out on the WWII bombing, so these cities have large amounts of older buildings that most of Japan no longer has. There was a self-guided 30-45 minute walking tour through the buildings. The main building was where offices and rooms for various officials were located, complete with the obligatory shrines and ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama June 6th 2013

I first went to Takayama in 1999 I think on my first trip to Japan with Intrepid. It is picture postcard perfect for a tourist town in all its mini-Kyoto historical houses etc. It was definitely worth visiting again as a stopover on the way to the shinkansen mayhem which awaits me no doubt on the southern coast. The minshuku (guesthouse) I had chosen was close enough to the station that I could find it quite easily. It was not exactly cheap at almost $90 but I think that is Takayama tourist prices and it was not necessarily the flashest place. It had tatami floor mats throughout and in a way what other way could you do Takayama really – even if there is a Best Western there (which was actually likely slightly cheaper) and quite ... read more
Takayama temple in Higashiyama
Takayama temple Higashiyama
my fave drop when in Takayama??

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida June 5th 2013

Another early start to the day after a rather uncomfortable first night in a ryokan... Ryokan are Japanese guest houses, with bedrooms consisting of a tatami-mat floor and futons rather than beds. These are usually folded away in the day time and meals are served in-room, before the beds are made in the evening whilst you are out or bathing, by your maid. Having opted for a slightly more budget option, the higher-end Ryokan being very pricey, our experience didn't quite match expectation, but was nonetheless authentic and memorable, and as seems to be standard in Japan, the staff at the Ryokan were incredibly polite, helpful and even drove us to the train station as we were a fair distance from town! Despite otherwise being basic, our Ryokan did have its own Onsen. Hot-spring baths form ... read more

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama May 7th 2013

Kanazawa – the City with a provincial feel to it. We arrive at Kanazawa ½ hour late - though we are not sure why. It’s quite bright and after visiting the Information desks at the train & bus stations we catch a bus to Kouhrinbo for our stay at the Toyoko-inn hotel for 3 nights. We have opted for the hotel as it provides a lot more by way of services than some hostels do e.g better internet, breakfast, all day coffee or tea free, free printing which we have found very useful and the cost in some cases is less than a hostel; so a no brainer really. There is a convenience store nearby and a supermarket as well. However, as it’s Sunday most of the restaurants that are in the guide book ... read more
At Shirakawa-go observation point
Kenroku-en garden - Kanazawa
Oyama Jinja Shrine - Kanazawa

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama November 10th 2012

Zaterdag 10 november ging ik naar Takayama als daguitstap vanuit Kanazawa. Ik zat lang te twijfelen of ik er heen zou gaan of niet. Ik zou namelijk met hetzelfde probleem als gisteren worden geconfronteerd, namelijk geen directe treinverbinding. Ik besloot het uitendelijk toch maar te doen en ik zat alles bij elkaar opnieuw een dikke 5 uur in de trein. Hoewel ik moet toegeven dat het landschap die ik moest doorkruisen bij wijlen adembenemend mooi was. Zo mooi zelfs dat de weg naar Takayama, dat zich in een dal bevind, misschien zelf mooier is dan het stadje zelf. Ik heb een kort filmpje bijgevoegd om jullie een idee te geven van het landschap dat je doorkruist om tot Takayama te geraken. Takayama zelf is niet bepaald groot, op een 3 à 4 uur ben je volledig ... read more
zicht over de rivier die de stad doorkruist
een kleiner zijriviertje
rara, wat was er eerst ?




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