Monday, October 1, 2012

Japan / part two

After conquering Mt Fuji, we took a 12 hour trip via bus, bus, bus, bullet-train, and train to Takayama. When we arrived, it started to sink in that I was actually in Japan. The architecture was no longer ultra modern, but very traditional in style and material. The streets were narrow and quiet; we wondered all over the place in the rain, saw a huge worm and the beginnings of the Japan Alps.
I was surprised by the inward nature of the buildings, most had windows facing the street but nearly all were covered by the ubiquitous paper/wood framed shade. It was very rare you would be able to see the interior space, even in sudo-public places like restaurants. We were never sure if we were allowed to enter, but eventually we got used to ducking our heads in and venturing an enthusiastic "konnichiwa"!

Typical (and totally awesome!) street facade in Takayama

Over the hill - the back side of Takayama

It was pouring! We loved it though, cooled off about 10 degrees

Ryokan with traditional Japanese breakfast served in the morning.
Menu includes: Salmon, white rice, miso soup, Hoba miso cooked
on a magnolia leave, and steamed vegetables

Old Sake brewery 

Interior - raised tatami mats with hearth for cooking. Rooms for entertaining are surrounding this space.
To enter the tatami mat area, you must remove your shoes.  Don't forget!

Sleeping room with garden and exterior hallway connecting the spaces. 
 On to Shirakawa-go, a town of thatched roofs! Sooo sooo sooo cool!!


the classic photograph

Open air museum where you can tour the buildings and walk in the roofs

1 meter thick roofs are made of bamboo, tied together with rope, and layered to insulate and withstand heavy snowfall in the winter months. 



So happy to be here! 

Super delicious meal - cook the beef in broth and season with hoba miso

Super impressive concrete pedestrian bridge to Skirakawa-go

Stay tuned - I will post about Kanazawa, Kyoto, and Tokyo soon!