11.06.2013 - 11.06.2013
We left right after breakfast to explore the town. Our first stop was the Miyagawa Market by the river which felt just like the booths at Japanese festivals back home, except with a lot less people since it's daily. We spent some time in and out of the shops there, partially to keep ourselves warm as there was a chill in the air.
When we reached the end of the market, the old town area was just across the street, so we continued on there, poking our heads into shops. Apparently horses are believed to be very lucky in the area, and we found a print meant to be hung on your wall facing in. The idea is that the horse will bring you good luck. It was only 500 yen, I love horses, and it was pretty, so it was an easy purchase, other than worrying about how to get it home.
After old town we ended up in front of the Takayama City Archives Museum which was free and surprisingly interesting. We couldn't read many of the signs, but when we wandered into a more traditional sitting room with books on the table, Tore started reading one that was in English. Apparently, Takayama and Denver, Colorado are sister cities! The book was in both English and Japanese and was 50 year yearbook of the relationship between the two which we enjoyed skimming.
Upstairs was a display area of what I assume were the types of desks and computers used and then various artifacts of Takayama's history. On the way back down the stairs I noticed the old-fashioned fire buckets.
We exited and were looking at the map trying to decide where to go next when an older lady started trying to talk to us, but sadly we couldn't understand a thing she was trying to say. Finally we realized we were right near where we had planned to go next, up a hill towards Shoren-ji Temple and Shiroyama Park. On the way up to the park we stopped to play with the leaves which were falling in the wind.
After the park, we came down the opposite side of the hill and started the Higashiyama Walking Course in reverse through many different temples and shrines.
(That last one is a postman delivering mail.)
Surprisingly there was a hostel right along the path between temples:
Weary of temples, we noticed Higashiyama Shinmei Jinga Shrine on the map and despite our hunger, hiked up the hill. We were glad we did as it was extremely peaceful and beautiful.
Unfortunately we only made it about halfway as we were extremely hungry so we took the "subway" (aka. tunnel under the street), glanced at the entrance to Tounin Temple, and then headed down the main street to find food.
After lunch we decided to try out another hike called the Kitayama Walking Course up to what the (bad) map said were the Ayuzaki Castle ruins. On the way there we passed by Takayama Showa Hall which had all types of vintage stuff.
I think this sign is a warning for construction that there are telephone lines in the ground there?
Despite not seeing any ruins along the Kitayama Walking Course, it made for a very pretty walk at the end of the day.
We wandered back into the city for a bit for some dinner before heading back to the inn.
This bridge can be seen in the poster for the anime movie we saw in old town. It seems it was set in Takayama.