takayama and furukawa.

I’m sorry for the radio silence.

Life’s been busy around here: house painting, coming up with the new office, moving up furniture, bringing in new furniture…and then we had to dip our feet on the crystal clear water of our beautiful Atlantic (meaning, we went to the beach).

I also have been thinking a lot about the future direction of this blog, I need to freshen it up, somehow! — I’m on a cleaning/tidying up rampage, okay? For now, I have a few ideas, but since I have no one to pitch them to, because I’m my own boss around here, I need to mull them over and come up with what I really want to see.

Today I’m presenting you photos from our trip to Takayama and Furukawa. *This post is heavily loaded with photos, I am sorry!*

A couple of days after arriving to Tokyo, we packed some clothes on our backpacks and headed off to Nagoya, but in between, we visited the very beautiful Takayama and Furukawa. Both are very small towns but very authentic and pretty. We walked around quite a lot, tried fresh soba, beef sushi and grilled dango, fed the carps and knew immediately why we were back to Japan after 11 months.

meal on the train.

city in between.
my very comfy birkenstocks and the worst starbucks latte I have ever had.
onigiri saving the day.
landscapes from the train.
landscapes from the train — one more.
We got to Takayama feeling famished, so the first thing we did was find a place to eat. Outside a shop with paper goods and little statues there was a sign advertising fresh homemade soba inside, so we just went in, and got to an incredibly nice lady’s place, it was their home! The only thing that was giving way it was a restaurant was that it had a few tables (no more than 6) spread apart.
here is K’s portion. The lady in the restaurant explained that this soba is served with yam, which makes it very sticky. She also explained that the liquid is supposed to be very hot, so we had to be careful — of course this was a long exchange of her bad english and my even worse Japanese, but we completely understood each other!
and here’s my portion, that came with roasted duck in the soup.
Takayama is a tiny place, surrounded by mountains. There are many tourists, but mainly all japanese.
we heard beef sushi was a specialty around there, so we stood in line to get our pieces — the verdict? Delicious.
the green, all over Japan, is exquisite. The humidity and the chemical properties of that volcanic land are definitely responsible for these beauties.

seeing mountains in my surroundings never fail to give me a warm cozy feeling!
the twelve zodiac signs represented, but they keep forgetting the cat! — reference to Fruits Basket!
Inside Takayama Jinya, a former government outpost.
Everything smelled so nicely of wood…!
when you look t it from the outside it appears small, but it’s huge!
delicious dango!
After getting back on the local train we rode to Furukawa. This was a last minute decision: we saw pictures of Furukwa on a brochure in a station and just decided we had to take a look, and we were not disappointed.
Furukawa is much smaller than Takayama, but equally (if not much) pretty. There are tiny canals all over with huge carps in it.
Ah the bread for the carps.

Ah the bread for the carps. I took this picture specifically to remember to write about the story behind this bag of bread. Everyone can get a bag on bread to feed the carps, and you can get them from a little tiny house built just for that (I imagine). The idea is you put in one coin of 100 yen and take a bag out. No one is there to see if you put the coin in or not, you can just get the bag out and that’s that! But of course this would only work in a place like Japan.
As we were rummaging through our pockets and wallet for a 100 yen coin, an old Japanese man appeared out of nowhere and gave us a 100 yen coin. I told him, ‘iie, iie, iie!!’ (no, no, no) showing that I had found a 100 yen in my wallet, but he wouldn’t care for it, he just smiled and waved to us as he walked away.
This was only the first sign that we had made the right decision going back. This was exactly why we love this country so much.

beautiful garden.

This was just such a beautiful place.

and back on the train for Nagoya.

Aaaaaand that’s it for now!

Have a great day! and come back tomorrow for more!