We got up (reasonably) early to get the train to Takayama. We weren’t sure how well it would go since the Golden Week started yesterday and according to the internet it would be hell.
Our first train wasn’t crowded at all, but we had to make a transfer at Nagoya and perhaps the crowd would start there…
The train to Takayama consisted of 8 carts, of which only cart nr1 was for non-reserved. We didn’t reserve a seat so we went into cart nr1. Our cart looked like this:
It seemed like the reserved carts were a lot more busy than ours!
The trip would take several hours, but we got some great views on our way there.
At Takayama we headed for our hotel where we had to leave our shoes at the entrance, dropped off our luggage, rented bicycles again and headed to Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village. We grabbed some lunch on our way and had a short break.
After some cycling and walking (since our bikes didn’t have gears and it was mostly uphill) we arrived at our destination. The photographer nicely asked if she could take a cheesy picture of us (she even knew a few Dutch words : “Dank je wel!” ).
She also told that she would take them with their own camera as well but we weren’t obliged to buy the €10 photos which they immediately printed… (we kindly refused)
We ran into some bamboo stilts and Rhonja desperately wanted to try them out.
Marcel was enjoying the great view
While Rhonja was still trying to get on the stilts…
The scenery was great, it was really quiet there!
And still Rhonja was trying to get on the stilts…
The folk village isn’t an actual real village though. Because of new technology (TV, central heating, refrigerators) they started demolishing a lot of buildings back in the day. Luckily some folks decided to preserve some of them, they tool them apart and moved them to this “village” (tomorrow we’ll be heading to a real preserved village!)
One of the houses had a huge streamer of a carp inside.
They even had some sort of wishing bell, which Rhonja rang.
Afterwards we headed back to Takayama and wandered around the town for a bit, while also looking for a place to eat. We came across the “old town” part of the village.
In this street they had a few great looking places to eat, but we knew they would be more expensive because of the location, so we took a few dodgy side streets where we eventually passed this place which kinda looked like it was closed. Their menu looked great though
The place was completely deserted but we decided to try it out anyway. We started our meal with a few fish as an appetiser.
We tried asking if we were supposed to eat the whole fish, but after some slight communication issues, where we just got explained what kind of fish it was, we decided to just go for it. We didn’t get any funny looks, so we’re sure it was fine.
Our second dish was some sashimi:
Now we had some salad with a slight taste of what our main meal would be. It had some Hida beef in it! (there were more slices of meat, but I forgot to take a picture sooner!)
And now onto the main course, some perfectly cooked Hida beef!
It was delicious! When we were done and waiting for our desert, the owner had a surprise dish for us, something we weren’t expecting at all:
Yes, we received three small raw squids each. (while the owner was producing some slightly evil sounding laugh). It was a bit difficult, but we found out that the best way to eat it was not looking at it and just chew. We kinda did look though, the tentacles were okay, but the head part was partly filled with red gooey stuff and the top with white goo. Even though the owner had a good laugh we were really proud of ourselves that we both finished our meals!
Rhonja thought as long as you didn’t look or think too much about it, they tasted a little like the sea smells when ebb tide starts. She thought they were pretty nice for just this once as she was still weirded out.
After we finished our (normal) dessert we headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow we have to get up early to get onto the bus to Shirakawa-go!