When I think about Takayama I think about quiet streets, sliding doors with secret restaurants behind them, magnificent temples and the Edo period, which I can only imagine from the books I’ve read and from the heritage that they left.
Takayama is also known as the small Kyoto of Hida, but each city is unique and beautiful in its own way, not only because of its past and architecture but also because of the citizens that live in each city.
Takayama has the feeling and the charm of a big old town where the cold and sharp air and the bright sun reminds you that you are in the vicinity of the mountains.
I did not know that in Takayama they make one of the best Sakes of Japan. I had the luck of discovering a place where the owner himself makes Sake, he patiently explains the millenary and artisanal way of making it and lets you do a small Sake tasting.
The Sake was not too strong and it had a beautiful perfume, and I loved the liquor made of peaches.
Sitting there between the rustic tables and chairs made of old and rough wood made me feel comfortable. What I loved the most, was that I did not feel like a complete tourist but like a person that gets the chance to listen to the owner who shares his passion and love for making Sake, and who is happy to share his story with a complete stranger.
I could stay there sipping Sake the whole afternoon but I also wanted to visit the old town. Walking down the river, I encountered some local people walking out their dogs and I asked my self, how it must be to live there. What would it be like to see the reminiscents of the Edo period each day, a period in which there was so much attention for the arts, for the beauty of the details and for conserving and respecting nature, because they were great agrarians.
Takayama is a beautiful city which definitely has to be on anybody’s itinerary who is looking to experience the history of the Japanese folk.
*I combined my visit to Takayama with a day trip to the Unesco world heritage site: Shirakawa-go a small town between the mountains also in the Gifu prefecture.
The highlights of my trip were:
Higashiyama Walk, the Old town, Sakurayama Hachimangu temple & Shirakawa-go (day trip).
The Sake brewery: Kawashiri Sake Brewery, 68 Kamininomachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0845, Japan.
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