Day 14 – Takayama

On this, our one day in Takayama, we started by walking the Higashiyama walking course which takes you around many of the temples on the hills above the city.  There is also a historical site route, which primarily takes you to graves of historical figures.  The Higashiyama Walking Course attractions were created by a mediaeval warlord, Kanamori Nagachika (1524-1600), who had a great passion for Kyoto culture. When he built the castle town of Takayama, he decided to construct many temples on a slightly elevated hilly area in the eastern part of town similar to the Higashiyama area in Kyoto, which was famous for its ancient temples.  Here are some of the temples on this walking course.

Hokkeji Temple
Hokkeji Temple
A small shrine near Hokkeji Temple
A small shrine near Hokkeji Temple
Another small temple
Another small temple
These kind of temple bells were common
These kind of temple bells were common

The cemeteries were amazing.  They were set among the woods, and were very beautiful and peaceful.

Cemetery among the woods
Cemetery among the woods

Some of the grave stones were quite unusual in their shape.

Unusual grave markers
Unusual grave markers

Ann very much liked this epitaph, celebrating a man for reading and writing poetry, being fond of unusual rocks and pursuing academic learning.

Epitaph
Epitaph

One thing we noticed is that many of the trees were heavily pruned – almost like larger size Bonsai.  Very few of the trees were allowed to just grow wild.

Pruned tree
Pruned tree

After checkout at 10, went down to the bus station to put our luggage in a locker. We then went to see the administrative building of the representative of the Tokugawa, called the Takayama Jinya.  This was fantastic and we spent over an hour there.

Entrance to Takayama Jinya
Entrance to Takayama Jinya
Government officials working area
Government officials working area
Tea preparation - note the unusual fish shaped device for raising and lowering the tea pot
Tea preparation – note the unusual fish shaped device for raising and lowering the tea pot
Unusual wooden hook
Unusual wooden hook
Hallway at Takayama Jinya
Hallway at Takayama Jinya
Kitchen at Takayama Jinya - note the rice cookers on the right
Kitchen at Takayama Jinya – note the rice cookers on the right
Travel chair for officials from Edo. They must have been very small.
Travel chair for officials from Edo. They must have been very small.

Fortunes were measured in units of rice, called Koku.  Traditionally, a Koku was enough rice for 1 person for 1 year.  Here are some standarized bundles of rice for tax purposes.

Rice bundles
Rice bundles

We then went to the Kusakabe mingei-kan, a house built by a successful Takayama merchant family. It was somewhat interesting, but could be skipped.

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Kusakabe mingei-kan

After wandering a bit through old town, Jim took a hike in a local park that included the ruins of the original castle while Ann visited a local gallery/art museum that wasn’t very good.

Remains of the old castle at Kanazawa
Remains of the old castle at Kanazawa

Around 4 pm that afternoon, we took the bus up to Shirakawago.  Checked in to our Ryokan, the Nodaniya Ryokan, which backed up on a rice paddy.

The view out the back of our Ryokan
The view out the back of our Ryokan

We ate dinner that night with a group from Taiwan who were climbing local mountains, including Mount Fuji, and a couple of gay Italian men.  The food was plain, but good.

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