Takayama, Japan – Day 2(a)

drunk sleeping in train
545am train towards Tokyo Station. This is a pretty common sight for salarymen who missed their last train the night before from the drinking. So they would stay out all night and take the 1st train home. The man was pretty dead asleep the whole time, slumped against the seat.

travelling on shinkansen
The surprise destination was unveiled when I was presented with the tickets for the journey. 1.5 hours Nozomi shinkansen to Nagoya then transit 2.25 hours to a local rapid train to Takayama. Tokyo Station was already bustling with life at 620am with people catching the different trains to various parts of Japan for the 3 days long weekend. Most of the young people had snowboards and skiis to their back so I guess they are going for some snow outdoor activities.

power supply in nozomi
1st ride on a nozomi shinkansen, JR pass users cannot use the nozomi trains which are faster and stops at less stops. I also found out that are power supplies at every seats too on a nozomi train! The train was packed considering that shinkansen are a pricey way to travel even for a Japanese.

snowing in nagoya
The snow was in a flurry upon arrival at Nagoya. It had been a long time since I had these sights.

the view changes
The views changed as the train climbed up higher up north, from dull green and minimal snow to a white patch of snow when arriving in Takayama


Takayama is a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, which has retained a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. Takayama gained importance as a source of high quality timber and highly skilled carpenters during the feudal ages. The Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn, is considered one of Japan’s best festivals.

Japan Guide

Much of the town was still very old school where it was surrounded by old buildings selling local products and some of the decorations inside the shops were like still in the 1970s’

grilled rice balls
Mitarashi Dango, kneaded rice balls in skewers grilled with soy sauce. This was the 1st snack I had after walking in the cold so it was really delightful for me. Anything to warm me up.

I just remembered the Kanji for this, 五平饼, also rice cakes grilled with sweet soy sauce. I much prefer the its saltier cousin 🙂


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