I had been to Takayama before. I put Takayama on my itinerary this time mainly was to show my travelling companions (who haven't visited Japan before at all) that there are quaint old towns - like Takayama - that is 'Japanese', not just the hustle bustle of Tokyo or Osaka.
So that was what we did exactly - immersing ourselves amidst the old structured houses, beautiful old shrines (not quite as grand as the ones in Kyoto but no less charming) . Quite honestly, I am not sure if my younger travelling companion liked this kind of town as much as 1/2heart and I do (and my other traveling companion left earlier than planned back to Sydney).
The first thing we noticed this morning when we opened the window slide.
Unfortunately, later on the day the sun was out and the snow quickly melted :(
First we visited Miyawaga River morning market. Either it was not morning enough when we visited, or a lot of the stalls were not opened because of the snow... . Pretty quiet... .
What's a visit to a market without food?
Must try when you are in Takayama: Hida Beef Bun, Gohei Mochi, Hida Beef skewers & Croquette, and I-don't-know-what-these-egg-things-are-called-but-they're-good.
We had lunch at 鍛治橋. Good ramen & Hida beef over rice. Not so for the Hida beef nigiri sushi (very sinewy).
3 Chome-62 Honmachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0011
Off to the Yatai/Float Museum (Matsuri Yataikaikan - admission fee JPY820 and it also includes admission to another museum besides it), just by the entrance of Hachimangu Shrine... .
Incredible massive floats on display. Not all floats are displayed in the museum. Some are stored in their own storehouses. But every year the 11 floats would be out during the Takayama festival (April 14/15 and October 9/10)
I love Sanmachi Old Street and other preserved old streets of Takayama. This time it was much less crowded than when we visited last year in summer.
And of course the incredible Miyagawa River with the ever existing fish..
From Hiroto's recommendation, we had dinner at Matsuri. A very small eatery selling homemade food. Very tasty & cheap. We sat by the counter and there was only one lady preparing all the food. Pace was slow but food came steadily.
Tori Kara-age was particularly delicious. All of these costed only JPY 2200.