Sunday, June 24, 2018

Japan Travel: Takayama 高山

When we decided to visit Nagoya in Central Japan, we initially did not consider visiting Takayama 高山. Just not too long before our trip then we decided to visit there, and we didn't regret! Do check out our Takayama Food Map in this post!

It took 2.5 hours on Japan Rail Wide Hida Limited Express 特急ワイドビューひだ to get from Nagoya to Takayama. As we took the red-eye flight from Singapore to Nagoya, we were quite tired, and the railway journey served as a nap time for us. Do take note that this limited express operates 1-2 hourly, so check the train schedule beforehand.

As we had to head to Toyama 富山 where we would stay overnight, we checked the train schedule and we had 3 hours at Takayama. In fact, the places that we planned to visit could be covered by walking.

Just a few minutes walk from Takayama Station and we reached Hida Kokubunji Temple 飛騨国分寺. We were surprised to see a group of people standing and looking at their mobile phones. They were catching Pokemon!

There is a huge Ginkgo tree, but it would turn colour only in autumn.

The lunch that we gobbled at Nagoya was digested by the time we reached Takayama, and we quickly headed to the highlight of the area - Takayama Kami-Sanomachi 上三之町, which is the old town with many eateries and shops.

Here it is, our Takayama Food Map!

Grilled dango (90 yen) at Fujimiya 二四三屋 is chewy inside and slightly crispy outside.

We rested at a shop called Jugemu じゅげむ for a while. There is a ticket machine in the shop, you have to purchase the ticket from the machine, and then pass the ticket to the food counter to get the food. The children had ice-cream, while I had grilled Hida beef. There were 3 types of grilled Hida beef at price ranging from 200 yen to 800 yen, and I decided to go for the most expensive one, which I regretted as it was a tad too oily for me.

To neutralise the oil in my stomach, I had my favourite ice-cream Cremia (500 yen)! I usually bought the vanilla ice-cream, but this time round, I tried the chocolate and vanilla with chocolate cone. I still prefer the vanilla ice-cream.

Next, I looked for my target - Hida beef sushi from Hida Kotte Beef 飛騨 こって牛! I saw many Taiwanese and Hong Kong bloggers and YouTubers raving about the sushi! But what a pity that the set of 3 different types of sushi (Set C) was sold out when I reached!

I ordered Set A (700 yen) that consists of 2 types of beef sushi - bamboo salt and soya sauce with ginger. The meat was tender and melt in my mouth! Instead of serving on a plate, the sushi was served on a rice cracker, so interesting! If I were to savour this again, I would have eaten the bamboo salt one first, because the ginger on the other one tasted too strong. I almost wanted to buy another set, but I reminded myself to reserve some space in the stomach for other food.

As I was enjoying the Hida beef sushi, the children were enjoying their rice crackers that were grilled on charcoal upon order.

It was quite cold as it was raining. But the piping hot buns from Kihachiro 喜八郎 warmed us up. Though the specialty is Hida beef bun, the children prefer the matcha bun with red bean paste.

Towards the end of the street were some sake brewery shops. Look up the entrance of the shops, those with a big ball-like object are sake brewery.

We visited Funasaka Sake Brewery 舩坂酒造店. It was nice that we could have 2 free small cups of sake for tasting. The staff recommended Daigijno 大吟醸, but the alcoholic taste was too strong for us. Another recommendation was Yuzu wine, which is very fruity and fragrant. I wanted to get a bottle, however, I decided to give it a miss, considering that we had to travel to a few different places, I was afraid that the bottle would be broken.

I planned to have the pumpkin pudding at Le Midi, however it was closed for a break when we were there!

We walked back to Takayama Station to catch the train to Toyama, and spotted a beautiful float at the station. If you have a chance to visit Takayama in April and October, do check out Takayama Festival when there would be parade of the festival floats.

Other interesting places in Takayama include: Takayama Yatai Kaikan (exhibition of traditional floats), Miyagawa Morning Market, Takayama Morning Market, Hida no Sato (Gassho house village), and so on. So I would suggest to plan a day or two at Takayama!

I was glad that I didn't leave Takayama out from my itinerary!

Our Central Japan Travelogue June 2018

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