From Tokyo, the next stop on my trip is going to be Kyoto but before that I made a quick diversion to a city called Takayama. The diversion ended up not actually being that quick and took a few hours but I finally got to use my Japanese rail pass and the bullet train so it was not too bad.
Takayama was completely different to Tokyo. It is a lot more green and natural and is very traditional and there are beautiful temples and the streets look like a scene from a postcard. It looked like what I would imagine an old Japanese village would look like which made a nice contrast to the skyscrapers and bright lights of Tokyo.
I spent a few hours exploring the Sanmachi Suji District. This area is full of quaint shops and restaurants. Here, I went to a sake tasting shop. I was with a bunch of other people so it was a really fun experience. And I got to try lots of different types of saki, which I was not really a fan of, but at least I can tick “sake” off my Japan bucket list!
I also went to visit the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine which is a beautiful Shinto shrine. From here, I went to hang out in my hostel. The hostel was actually a traditional Japanese inn which was such a cool experience. It had tatami floors, Japanese futons and they provided you with special slippers and kimonos to wear around.
What was especially unique about the inn was the shower situation which consisted of communal baths. So basically you had to shower together and then enter a hot spring bath. This would usually be completely out of my comfort zone but I am trying to learn to embrace things more, so I did it and it was actually really enjoyable. The bath was really warm and I went to bed feeling really refreshed.
For dinner, I ate in a restaurant nearby the Inn. I had wanted to try “Hida beef” which the area is supposed to be famous for however, I got a little confused when ordering and ended up ordering “Hida pork” and by the time I had realised, I was so hungry that I did not bother saying anything. It was really delicious though!
I did not really get to see much more in Takayama as there is a typhoon approaching so a lot of the places I wanted to go to were shut early in anticipation of “typhoon jebi”. I had no idea that there was going to be a typhoon (I should probably have done a little more research before coming!) and it is supposed to be the worst typhoon Japan has seen in 25 years but hopefully everything will be okay.
Next stop is hopefully Kyoto although I am currently writing this from Nagoya train station where all trains have been cancelled/delayed so who knows what will happen!
It’s just me, Dammy, excited for the next city…