Konnichiwa Japan - takayama/Shirakawago
23 March 2012 (Fri): Takayama & Shirakawago
Checked out of our hotel in Osaka early the next morning to catch a train to Takayama. It was pouring in the morning and we couldn't get a cab so we ended up walking 20 minutes in the rain to the train station. We arrived the train platform 5 minutes before the train departs...we were so close to missing it!
I wanted to take the Wide View Hida Direct Express from Osaka to Takayama because I've read comments about the nice scenery along the 4-hours train ride. But the rain totally ruined our view. =.=
Hida Takayama Washington Hotel Plaza. Usual routine...dropped our bags at the hotel before starting our sightseeing. This hotel is very strategically located right across the train and bus station. The rooms are also nice and clean. =)
Our main destination in Takayama was Shirakawago, a small town an hour away from Takayama. We were rushing to catch the bus and had no time for lunch so the vending machine was a life-saver...haha! I'm really impressed with this machine...it serves hot food!
We got on the bus not knowing that we would be greeted by this winter scenery...and I thought it was spring already??? What a pleasant surprise! =)
So glad that we made this trip here...absolutely worth it! I really thought everything would be brown-ish by now coz winter is over but coz Shirakawago is located in the mountains so the temperature was only 2 celcius when we were there.
I'm easily attracted by nice sceneries and this is what attracted me to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is pretty when it's either all white or all green...so winter and summer would be a good time to visit.
As you can see, the design of the houses is quite special. In winter, the roofs are all covered in snow too.
It was raining, cold and so freakin' windy...I was so under-dressed for this weather.
Rivers and mountains always make good backdrop for pics. =) Sorry that we had to ruin the nice scenery with our green raincoat...lol!
Love all these wooden houses!
This is a close-up of the one of the houses that we saw from the viewing point above.
After the vending machine lunch that we had, we decided to get something better...bbq chicken for dinner. =)
24 March 2012 (Sat): Takayama - Tokyo Shinjuku
Our itinerary for the next morning was to walk around Takayama town before catching our bus to Tokyo in the afternoon. Above is the Historical Government House and Jinya-mae morning market.
We then went for a little hike to Shiroyama Park...nothing interesting though.
Some random shots as we walk around Takayama town.
Before leaving Takayama, we had another round of vending-machine lunch box...we almost tried everything they had in that machine...lol!! :p
I didn't mention earlier, we almost bought the 7-day JR rail pass but decided not to after working out the math that it would be cheaper for us to use different modes of transport to travel around. Based on my survey, it was more economical and convenient to travel by bus to some places but all the websites to book tickets are in Japanese so we had to ask our high school friend who's working in Tokyo to help us with it. Thanks YouYang for helping us with all the bus tickets! =)
The journey from Takayama to Tokyo turned out to be a pleasant surprise too. I wanted to take a nap during the 6-hour bus ride but the sceneries kept me awake. We were back in winter again...haha!!
What a great timing for our bus to stop for toilet break...it was snowing!!! Yes I know we are very 'sam pat' again...you gotta understand that we live in a country with only one season!
So glad that we took this bus...hehe! =)
First glimpse of Mt Fuji..more to come!!