© 2010 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated takayama day 1

Japan – Takayama 26th October

We started early with a Japanese style breakfast provided by our Minshuku. It was much nicer than we were anticipating having been warned the night before. There was a traditional Hoba-miso from the area which is a miso sauce cooked on a leaf with a few shitake mushrooms and spring onions on it. You leave it to cook over a candle flame and then add it to the sticky rice, this was very pleasant. Accompanying was some cold grilled salmon, cooked squash, green tea and soup. Perhaps not your ideal breakfast start to the day but it was well worth trying and we left feeling pretty satisfied.

The temperature dropped significantly today and was somewhere around the 5 degrees mark, so with a brisk walk up to the famous morning markets we took in some of the local sights and stopped for a few photography opportunities of local trade. We were disappointed though as it all seems very contrived and set up for tourists. It is mostly Japanese tourists who come to the area along with lot’s of school trips. So off load the tour buses and suddenly the town becomes alive, but perhaps not in the way we had hoped. The word “Tacky-ama” comes to mind. It wasn’t all bad though as we did come across a nice cafe where we helped to translate some tour-guide info for a Japanese chap and then went on to Takayama Jinya.

This temple is beautifully restored and did hold our attention for an hour or so along with the school groups and fellow tourist makers. We managed to overlook this though and took in the historic details throughout. Following on from the temple we had the Takayama hilltops in our sights with a castle ruin at the top. It’s a good little hike up hill and along the way there are further shrines and monuments as well as an empty children’s playground which seemed to capture our photographic imaginations. From here we walked up to the top for a short look out across Takayama before heading back down towards the rooftops and a further path lined with temples. Takayama holds so much history that it’s difficult to forget where you are.

Back at our Minshuku we had a chance to relax and take a breather before heading out to meet Kim and Ivan. This time we chose a cosy little Japanese pub with one chef and many bar-top kitsch accessories such as a fridge that is also a TV, dvd player and playstation!! Along with this he provided us with books all about Japanese food, what he could do for us, explained that we would have to buy a beer whilst apologising all the while for his poor english!! The food was fantastic, fortunately we were able to share most of it as there was so much, Helen had the hoba-miso again this time though it was 4 times the size and had loads of mushrooms with it!! Dave had the local beef dish called Hida Beef which was very very good, melt in the mouth good. The chef gave the ladies a Kirin beer postcard and some goodbye bananas with “please come again” and “thank you” written on them. Priceless!

So with one more night left we prepared for the next step of our train journey to Kanazawa. We would meet Kim and Ivan for the same train the next morning at 11am. A good night was had by all.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 11 Nov ’10 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Hey Helen and David!

    I hope everything still fine for you! I just came back from Japan. I think I already miss it :(

    I really enjoyed my moment with you in Kanazawa. Your way of thinking and taking everyday without any stress, just trying to live good experiences, inspired me. And for sure, your pictures are amazing! Your talent give an another image of Japan and I think it is more important than any temple or shrine.

    Thanks for given me the chance to spend a rainy day with you. I will follow you during the next months, wherever we’ll go.

    See you again somewhere else..?


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