Japan Trip 2010 – Takayama

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(PIC HEAVY POST)

Hida-Takayama is by far my favorite countryside town in Japan.

me

river

cat

river side

Check out this sign on the top left…. you can get a “cheese hot hamsand” … I think they mean hot cheese ham sandwich :) very endearing.

The river was full of carp and ducks! For 100 yen you can buy a little packet of fish food to feed them with :)

carp

Visited this little cafe for lunch:

.. because this caught my eye on the menu outside the cafe!!

I looove cafes in Japan! They have THE BEST things. Delicious milk teas:

Soup that came with the meal (I discovered that I like drinking soup out of a wooden spoon):

My hayashi rice:

My sister ordered a hotdog sandwich :)


Our hotel was another country inn or “ryokan” with futons as our beds and another communal bath with hot springs.

Small indoor hot spring bath:

I had a habit of waking up at 5AM while in Japan so I took very early baths when no one was up… there was this large hot spring tub outside (properly covered up from the neighbors of course) that I loooooved to relax in:

This inn was family owned with a young daughter so they had some old Disney VHS tapes in Japanese :)

The absolute BEST thing about this particular inn was the FOOD.

Breakfasts (we stayed there for a couple nights so this is probably a mixture of the two breakfasts):

Another breakfast set:

Dried fish:

Macaroni salad:

Some kind of spicy vegetable dish… whatever it was.. it was delicious.

Sweet miso with onions, mushrooms roasting on a leaf:

Steaming miso soup:

Omelette with tomatoes and bacon:

An example of one of our dinners:

That night we walked out of the ryokan with our yukatas on and walked to the nearest convenience store:

Look at this schoolgirl flashing a quick “peace” sign while I snapped a pic! haha.

Convenience stores never cease to amaze me as far as strange and adorable products:

Gyoza/potsticker flavored Pretz!

Crust-less egg salad sandwiches

Hamburgers to-go:

Crust-less custard and caramel cream sandwiches I think? With cute little sheep on the packaging

Shiseido Collagen drink supplements… I’m pretty sure this is for promoting nice skin. Haha. And yes I did try it out while in Japan… doesn’t taste that great but what do you expect? It tasted like a tart energy drink.

They even had AXE for men here too:

Little gift packs… one was a Longchamp-looking shopping bag and the other was a microfiber towel gift set. Very nicely color-coordinated!

Most of our tour group was from the United Kingdom. When we were at the convenience store some local girls came up to some of the younger European guys and asked for a picture with them. LOL! It was as if they had never seen a Westerner before. Very adorable.

There wasn’t much clothes or makeup shopping here but I enjoyed walking around the local shops and taking in the beautiful scenery.

Yummy looking menu at a little snack stand:

A sweet little toy shop:

I passed by a little rabbit-themed shop filled with handmade goods… ALL of the products sold had some kind of rabbit on it! Adorable.

I saw THE cutest dog relaxing in a fabric store…he had big teary eyes just like those “Precious Moments” dolls:

See the similarity?

Stopped by a little tea shop…. We ordered real matcha tea, black sesame mochi and a sort of ice cream sandwich with vanilla ice cream and red bean inbetween two wafers:

I also tried out a Hida milk pudding at the convenience store….rich, fluffy and soft :)

Takayama is famous for brewing sake. Sake isn’t really my thing but it was nice to check out anyway.

Passed by a random toy shop that featured the entire collection of Dunnys.. if you’re not familiar with vinyl toys or KidRobot stores, Dunnys or “devil bunnys” are vinyl designer toys; many designers collaborate with KidRobot to make really awesome designs. This toy shop in Takayama, Japan is the only place in the world that has the ENTIRE Dunny collection.

Tokidoki Dunny:

They had many various movie props as well… most notably this figure from one of the Terminator movies:

The streets are so beautiful and clean! There are little rain gutters everywhere with constantly flowing water.

Check out how close these cars are parked next to the buildings! Streets are narrow here so they need to squeeze in as far as possible.

An elderly man washing the street:

Typical houses in Takayama…. they’re so fond of container gardening here:

Yours truly being silly:

Every morning there is an open market for vendors and farmers to sell their goods.

While window shopping I stopped by an adorable riverside cafe that served tea and ice cream.

I ordered a peach ice cream :) So refreshing!

The cafe view out the window:

They even sold little gift bags of tea and many glass figurines of animals:

We went to a tiny little restaurant for dinner and ate the ABSOLUTE BEST BEEF I HAVE EVER TASTED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. NOOOO JOKE. Hida beef! (Takayama is also known as Hida-Takayama to differentiate it between other Takayama cities.)

No sauces, no spices except some pepper and salt. You only get a few pieces though, but I guess that’s why I savored the taste :) It makes it more special that way.

You cook the meat on mini personal grills right in front of you!

Tempura:

Snacks:

Tiny salad with sesame dressing:

MMM SO GOOD!

On the way back to the inn there was this little girl playing with fireworks with her parents… adorable.

That’s it for Takayama! :)

Next city: Kanazawa

♥ E&I