I wrote up last night's update on the bus as we headed to Takayama then added the photos after we arrived. By the time we were done and headed out for dinner, almost everything was fully booked or closed. Ended up in an Indian Restaurant, great food though.
On the bus again now and hope to have this done by the time we get to Kanazawa. Meeting friends at 6:30pm so it's good that we are actually finishing earlier that scheduled for once.
Could not ask for better weather than we had today. Started the day as usual with a great breakfast. Western and Japanese style breakfast available. (I think that meant I had to have two breakfasts). Therese was up and going a little earlier taking as much advantage as she could of the onsen, hot spring baths. Mineral water and supposed healing qualities and all the necessities for preparation and preparing for the day are provided. Having had them for the last three nights, that was to be it for the tour.
Action for the day started with a walk to the Morning Markets in Takayama beside Miyagawa River. Just like markets in Australia,a just different types of things in various stalls but many stalls selling the same things. Biggest difference in the market, as with a lot of shops, is the ever present big proportion of food available. Anything from fresh fruit, dried meat or even fish on a stick.
After the markets we walked through the old section of Takayama, almost unchanged since it was built in the 1500s, just regular repainting with the black paint they use. All timber buildings of course and maybe the same paint used on the castle we saw the other day, apparently it provides a level of fire resistance.
From Takayama it was onto the bus and bound for the historical village of Shirakawago. Prior to the Second World War, this village was known for its part in the manufacture of silk for export. The houses are two or three storey where up to three generations of the family lived in the lower levels and the silk worms were kept in the upper level. These houses are of traditional wooden construction with roofs made of bundles of rice straw about 400 - 500 millimetres thick. Now a historic site but still lived in as a normal village. Very interesting place, every spare plot of ground is used for growing food, mainly rice. Good to see up close the rice growing and the drying of the rice on the racks after harvest.
No need to go looking for a meal tonight. Friends from Toyama that we haven't seen for a few years, Kazu, Katsuko and Sho, drove down to catch up with us. They organised a magnificent meal at a nearby hotel and really introduced Therese, and in some cases myself, to Japanese cuisine that we had not tried before. Cannot thank them enough and it was great to catch up again.