Now this is a pretty big statement, but bear with me for a second; Takayama is (so far) my favorite place I've visited in Japan.
To start off with, there is snow. Lots of snow. And coming from Australia and Singapore, snow is still pretty much a massive novelty for me.
AHHH SO MUCH SNOW
ALSO THERE ARE VERY SCENIC MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND
DON'T THESE TREE'S LOOK AMAZING WITH SNOW ON THEM
Second favorite reason; there is a park within the town called Hida no Sato (Hida Folk Village), an open air museum of 30 old farmhouses (dating back to the 16th century) with steep, thatched roofs ('gasshō style'), required for the long, cold winters.
Covered with almost a meter of snow, it was magical.
Also, the town itself. As it is a designated preservation area, all new houses have to be built in the Edo style - leading to an amazing picturesque (but somewhat surreal, espcially when you have BMWs driving out of wooden garages) old town.
The street food was pretty good as well.
eating rice balls in old Takayama with Shun, another solo traveller I met from Hong Kong
But I've kept the best reason till last. It turns out that the region Takayama is in is famous for it's beef - Hida beef, just slightly down in terms of quality from Kobe beef. And for the first time since I've been in Japan, I no longer had to be on the lookout for Pork; Hida beef was used everywhere, for everything. It was glorious.
Every dish, Hida beef
Hida miso - Hida beef cooked in a miso paste on top of a magnolia leaf
Hida beef kebab on the side of the street
It's not just a cliche, it actually melts in your mouth
Hida beef steam bun - finally, I can eat a steam bun and see what all the fuss is about
Hida beef sashimi, again from a street seller
Oh, and did I mention I had the best hamburger in my life (no kidding, for real) in Takayama? Center 4 Hamburgers is the only hamburger place in town, and all their patties are made from Hida beef. They actually melt in your mouth.
I was in heaven.
- May January
- Mon 29 December 2014Temples, shrines, and Irish pubs (oops)
- Sun 28 December 2014Temple run and too much sake
- Fri 26 December 2014Hiroshima
- Wed 24 December 2014Things I've noticed since coming to regular Japan
- Mon 22 December 2014Last day in Okinawa
- Mon 22 December 2014A very Okinawan Hanukkah
- Sun 21 December 2014Onna Industrial Festival
- Sun 21 December 2014Last week at OIST
- Tue 16 December 2014A surprisingly good time to go to Russia
- Mon 15 December 2014Cape Hedo and Hiji Falls
- Mon 15 December 2014Vires Acquirit Eundo
- Mon 15 December 2014Chicken skin (and other assorted delights)
- Sun 14 December 2014Bread 1.0
- Sun 14 December 2014More things I've noticed since arriving in Okinawa
- Tue 09 December 2014The Heart Attack Murder Burger
- Tue 09 December 2014Spongebob and the birthday pig
- Mon 08 December 2014Kourijima
- Mon 08 December 2014Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
- Sun 07 December 2014Americana teppanyaki
- Sun 07 December 2014Searching for yeast on a Friday night
- Mon 01 December 2014Pineapple Park
- Sun 30 November 2014Castles, pancakes, Naha and more
- Fri 28 November 2014Attempted drive to Ishikawa
- Thu 27 November 2014Walk through Tancha
- Tue 25 November 2014Things I've discovered since arriving in Okinawa
- Tue 25 November 2014Settling in at OIST
- Mon 24 November 2014Accidental business class
- Sun 23 November 2014Delayed in Hong Kong
- Sun 16 November 2014A Siberian adventure