Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kyoto by night




Featuring Kamo River and Shimbashi - the most beautiful street in Asia.

I thought Kyoto had a very European vibe. Though we did spend a lot of time in trendy Western bakeries and giant department stores.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Takayama: A song of ice and, well, more ice













Our two day trip to the quaint mountain town of Takayama was sorely needed after the hustle and bustle of Osaka and the ever-touristy Kyoto.

As I was sick from climbing Mount Inari in the cold a few days prior (post to come) evenings were spent relaxing in our cosy ryokan that looked out on to the Miyagawa river. Luckily our host was hilarious and good natured.

I haven't spent much time in the snow before so I was in for a bit of a shock when we arrived. Snow was piling up several feet in the streets and ice lined every footpath. Shoveling snow off rooftops and from roads seemed to be a never-ending, arduous task for the locals. It did make our exploring a bit treacherous - even navigating streets in the town centre I managed to slip over a few times (much to Kyril's amusement).

We tried hida beef, the local speciality, and pumpkin puddings with warm sugar sauce. So. Freaking. Good. I also had my worst Japan dining experience but I can't even bring myself to type it out here so ask me if you're interested (hint: it involved a 'lucky' prawn).

Hida Folk Village was one of the highlights of our trip. Despite having to navigate more icy terrains to explore the village, it was so picturesque with snow falling onto the thatched roofs. I also really enjoyed the Takayama Jinya building. Both of these places were really interactive and captured a sense of history so well - I love walking through old structures and imagining how people lived.

I'd love to come back here in the spring - I imagine it would have a totally different vibe.