Sunday, 20 September 2015

Travel: Takayama, Japan

After staying in Nagoya over night and surviving a poisoning attempt, we made the three hour train journey to the mountainous city of Takayama. We arrived really late at night and had to rush to our hostel before check in closed. We stayed at the Quality Hostel K's House and we found it very similar to the usual backpackers hostels you find around the world. We stayed in a room with bunk beds and it was such a fun experience! I'd really recommend the K's House chain of hostels to anyone visiting Japan.
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We had a quick turn around at the hostel and were soon back out on the streets of Takayama. We'd read about a Bob Dylan themed bar in the area and Bob was desperate to go. As I'd ruined our plans to go out in Nagoya the night before, I obviously couldn't say no. The bar was called Desolation Row and it was genuinely the best bar I've ever been in. I've already written a post about it so I won't repeat myself, but make sure to check that post out. When we left Desolation Row in the early hours of the morning, it was snowing! I'd had no idea Japan would be so cold in April but it turns out Takayama is actually high up in the Japanese Alps - it was freezing!
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When we woke up the next morning we visited the old town: a couple of streets in the city  full of beautifully preserved wooden buildings that date back to the Edo period (1600-1868). Within these buildings were some shops full of beautiful, handmade souvenirs. I bought my mum some beautiful wooden bowls from one of these shops and was tempted by some chopsticks for myself. Amazingly, there was a sake brewery in one of these buildings!
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As it was still freezing, I had to nip in a shop to buy some gloves - not what I was expecting when I packed for this trip. After a couple of hours browsing the beautiful streets and drinking copious amounts of tea, we jumped on the train for our next destination: Kanazawa. If you're travelling between Takayama and Kanazawa, I really recommend getting the train. The views are just INCREDIBLE. Another couple we met travelled between the two cities on a coach, and their view consisted of the inside of one long tunnel - rubbish.

Rachael Amy

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