Blogs from Hida, Takayama, Gifu, Japan, Asia


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

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 » Hida February 23rd 2011

1st February 2011: Singapore – Nagoya - Takayama I love Japan simply because the connectivity between cities is so convenient. We arrived in Centrair Chubu International Aiport, strolled to the Access Plaza, boarded the Semi Express Train which departed punctually at 8.45am. Caught the Hida Express JR and arrived at Takayama Station right on schedule. It is only in Japan where I can pinpoint exact arrival time despite having to change 2 or 3 different modes of transport. It is wise to pre-book the return bus ticket to and from Shirakawago as some of the scheduled times require prior reservation. We left our bags at Oyado Koto no Yume and hopped onto the Sarubobo bus which dropped us off at Hida no Sato – the open air Folk Village. We were completely taken aback at how ... read more
Hida no Sato
Takayama houses
Takayama Streets

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida August 2nd 2010

A Glimpse of Olden Day Japan....Takayama Left Tokyo for Takayama in the afternoon. With the JR pass, we proceeded to book our tickets at the JR counter at Akihabara station. Unfortunately, the train ride to Nagoya is fully booked for the non-smoking reserved seats and we had to make do with the smoking cabin, for fear that there won't be seats for us in the non-smoking unreserved seats. But we regretted this decision the moment we settled in our seats. The journey from Tokyo to Nagoya takes around 2 hours and there was no way we could hold our breath the entire ride. It took us less than 5min to decide that we should look for a non-smoking unreserved seat. After passing through nearly 10 cabins (not before passing through the smoking unreserved cabin, which was ... read more
J-Hoppers Hostel
Stone Hida mascot

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida March 19th 2010

Hida Folk Village - Situated on the foot of the mountains, Hida Folk Village presents as a heritage community with traditional Japanese farmhouses, storehouse for drying the rice crop, two mills, woodcutters hut, a sawmill, a fire lookout, and shrines, most of which have been relocated from the nearby villages and reconstructed for the exhibitions. Four thatched are designated as National Important Folk Cultural Assets. Visitors are encouraged to look round those houses and see 5,000 items of tools and devices which were used for local industries and agriculture. The volunteers demonstrate how the authentic product, e.g. wooden spoon was made and the past expertise was carried out, e.g. woodcutter slicing the timber, making the threads with the spinner. The silkworm industry’s exhibition includes the display of the alive silkworms eating mulberry leaves. The visitors are ... read more

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida September 13th 2009

Konnichiwa! Jetzt haben wir schon eine Woche hinter uns. Es gibt so viel Erzaehlenswertes, dass wir vermutlich Schwierigkeiten haben werden, uns kurz zu fassen. Wir bitten um Nachsicht... Die ersten 2 Tage waren wir in Tokio. Die Stadt an sich ist fuer so eine grosse Stadt erstaunlich unspektakulaer; man kann aber ganz gut herumschlendern und findet einige schoene Stellen; es gibt sogar einen netten Strand (aber ohne Bademoeglichkeit). "Richtige" Sehenswuerdigkeiten gibt es dagegen nicht so viele, und es ist erstaunlich ruhig. In einigen Ecken sind tatsaechlich die Grillen lauter als der Verkehrslaerm; der Fluesterasphalt macht's moeglich. Am zweiten Abend haben wir ein paar Kollegen getroffen: Yoko ist tatsaechlich so, wie man es von ihren Mails her schon erwartet hatte - sehr nett, unkompliziert, lustig, selbstbewusst und erstaunlich locker und direkt. Uda-san und Nakagawa-san... read more
Lotusbluete in einem Park in Tokio
Kaiserpalast und Niju-bashi Bruecke
Abendstimmung an der Waterfront von Tokio

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida May 9th 2009

It's a pretty quick and beautiful trip from Inuyama to Takayama; which was where my historical Japan tour was going to end. The limited express train goes through some beautiful gorges and the weather was nice and sunny. It was the prefect day to go around and enjoy some more samurai district history and everything that goes with it. Or so I thought. Apparently, Golden Week started that day and it was packed. Hard to move, hard to see things, and more importantly, I was pretty disappointed in the city as a whole. The samurai district; which is what the city is famous for, was really touristy and most of the interesting things....really weren't that interesting, in my opinion. I would duck into shops and they were all selling the same thing. I would try and ... read more

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida March 5th 2009

Day 7/8 The next morning I had a spa in the Onsen (opting for the indoor one due to my cold) the outdoor one would have been an experience with all the snow around. Having a cold in Japan was a bit difficult as culturally blowing your nose is not polite. You sort of have to go to a corner or hide behind you hand. Many Japanese wear face masks when they are unwell to prevent spreading germs I think. Then a change of plans was made as the sun was shining and our leader Tatsuya had seen that Mt Fuji was visible on the internet. So we delayed our leaving and jumped on a bus to a different viewing area. It was well worth the trip. I thought that we would only see Mt Fuji ... read more
Mt Fuji
Mt Fuji
Mt Fuji

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama » Hida July 9th 2007

I’ve read Alex Kerr’s “Lost Japan” cover to cover today (Jeeva’s recommendation), and his cynical take on the concreting over of Japan’s cultural heritage has inevitably colored my response, especially to the artifical environs of Shirakawa-go, an assembly line of reconstituted thatched dwellings for the satiation of snapping salarymen, who wander around in a daze of incomprehension before returning to their fluorescent cubicles. Some comments on Mr Kerr’s diatribe about the Pachinko-isation of Japan. Yes the damned (intentional misspelling) rivers do run in pitiful concrete channels, the cities are assemblies of anonymous cubby-hole architecture populated by faceless business folk, and Hitachi tastelessly sponsors signage at every zen garden and buddhist temple, but the homogenisation of pop culture isn't unique to Japan. Every city in the world is acquiring it's own barcode, an imp... read more

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