Thursday, August 30, 2007

Takayama City is now on my list of favorite cities in Japan

We traveled to Takayama City first by Shinkansen, the bullet train.

I'm having some problems posting videos from the train. I'll try to get them up in a few days.

Later, we changed to a local train that wound its way through mountains and valleys for two hours to get to the city.

The city itself is small, but they've preserved the old town beautifully.

Twice each year, they have a festival parade that's apparently quite famous, with over a hundred thousand people coming to attend (and hotel space for about a tenth of that.) It's sort of the exact opposite of the Rose Bowl. For the Rose Bowl parade, they make the floats the day before out of flower petals, so they're the most ephemeral things you could imagine. In contrast, many of the parade floats for the Takayama festival are three hundred years old or more. We saw a few of them in a museum, where they rotate several of the floats through:

That night, we had a fantastic dinner of mountain vegetables and a bit of meat cooked at a gas burner at the table using locally made miso. One nabe dish:

and one sukiyaki:

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