Kyoto, Hakone, Takayama
May 15-22: second part of

MANUEL AND MARINEKE IN JAPAN

9 - 31 MAY 2010

go to Kobe May 9-15 and May 29-31
Kyoto, Hakone, Takayama May 15-22
go to Hiroshima, Kurashiki, Nara, Koyasan May 22-29

! sometimes the link refers to a Japanese homepage,
you can translate such a webpage very easy by Google translation !

May 15
Up at half past six.
After breakfast, the four of us walk to the busstop. In the railway station we have to get used to the system. Together with Yasuko and Ryoji this is easy.
First we take the local train and then a kind of express train (no shinkansen).
The railway station in Kyoto is very huge and beautiful.
On one of the train compartments we see a special sign: Ladies only early in the morming and from 17.00-21.00. Both peak hours.

local train

special for women
Through the clear road map (Ryoji has to help a little bit to discover the names of streets) we walk to the hostel (K's House hostel).
It's very busy here: good that we made a reservation.
The reception welcomes us warmly and the first impression is good. We can store our luggage in a separate room and we receive a receipt.
We get cards for the room (which will be ready after three o'clock) and keys for shoelockers.

Matsuri Aio festival
We walk to the bus stop to go the the "hollyhocks" festival (Matsuri Aio, thank god for stopping the bad weather). The buses are all full, so we take a taxi. We find a good spot alongside the street.
The weather is very nice.
In the procession walk mostly men (about 600), all in traditional dress.

festival and Ryoji

shrine
Also a number of colourfully decorated horses, girls with nice make-up and of course the shrine decorated with wisteria.

It is a long, long row passing: figures in traditional Japanese dress, complete with armor, etc. representing high-level fighters, rulers, dignified ladies. Yasuko tells that a large part of the " foot soldiers " exist of students, thus getting some extra income.

warrior

children

gong

tension

cow

ruler


wild horse

The funniest thing around the procession are the people like us (waiting some hours in advance along the streets), to see the parade, chatting, joking, taking pictures of each other.
Alltogether a very nice spectacle.
When the parade is over, the cleaning begins.

We say goodbye to Ryoji and Yasuko. We will miss them.


a long procession

sweep horse turds

saying bye bye
We walk to the very popular Japanese Ginkaku-ji.
This temple is located along the "Philosopher's Path".
This walk got its name from Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945). He was a professor of philosophy and went this route daily to maintain his health.
It's a long, quiet path along a stream, with many carp swimming in it. Via a tourist street, we reach the Ginkaku temple.

structures and "mt Fuji
"
This Zen temple was established in 1482, according to the Japanese it marked the beginning of modern Japanese life.
More than just a temple, this is a complex, including a garden, pond, artificial landscape and several temple buildings.
First thing you notice as you leave the path behind high hedges, is the Fuji-like minitiature mountain, part of a carefully created artificial landscape.
Especially the white sand representing waves and a mountain are peculiar in their precise patterns.

pruned trees
It is part of the garden and the pond, on which several temple buildings are located.
There are many visitors, including of course lots and lots of school children: "hello" ... Everyone comes here mainly for the garden. That is indeed beautiful. Very nice trees, often artfully modeled.

pruners

Ginkaku complex
We see again pruners at work, some on high ladders.
The garden is well maintained, even the moss is swept.

schwepping leaves

garden

roofs

philosphers path
We continue the philosophers path, it takes you along various temples, for us today these are too many.
We only follow the sign to Eikando Zenrin-Ji.
We are very tired and we doubt whether we will still visit this temple.
But we were glad we went in.
Both the buildings and the gardens (a magnificent Zen garden and a normal (just normal?) Japanese garden) are beautiful.

amida-do
This complex is built against a hill, and the several buildings are linked by a boardwalk.
The temple was founded in 855.
Its main attraction is the Mikaeri-no-Amida, or Amida Buddha looking back over his shoulder.

Zen garden
Due to a merciful pose of Mikaeri Amida the temple attracts many believers and people throughout the world. The temple is also well-known as "Eikando in Maple Leaves", because of its beautiful garden filled with many maple trees.
We walk in and around the templecomplex and see wonderful sculptures and paintings.
In the beautiful main building we experience a ceremony. We don't know the meaning, but it has something to do with a young man and an elderly woman sitting a little apart. May be a memorial mass? The monks sing and make beautiful music.

garden with maples

boardwalk
A boardwalk is going up. There is a special well where you can hear the music of falling drops of water.
New wood shows how restaurations are made.
We climb up to the pagoda (building where the relics are preserved) and enjoy the view of Kyoto. The pagoda itself does not tell us much.

renovations

pagoda
We relax a little near the pond where ducks are swimming and Marineke photographs beautiful outlooks.
Two charming ladies offer Manuel a sweet.
May be he sure looks tired. (later on we get more little gifts from people, here in Japan a common nice gesture).

pond

special altar

carps

statues

traditional dress
On our walk to the hostel (it's a long way) we pass pleasant shopping streets and markets. We buy " bento boxes" for breakfast. (Japanese Bento boxes contain food for dinner or lunch, beautifully prepared with different snacks together with white rice).
Gion, bustling nightlife district (also Geisha area, however to day we saw many more women walking in kimono), is also on our route. We want to go here on evening time.
Amazing: nice traditional houses and (as we think ugly) electricity poles.

electricity poles
In a Shinto temple we see statues of wild boars and pigs. At a certain point we're not sure where we are and a nice old lady shows us the right direction.
When we are two streets away from her she calls us that we walk into the wrong direction.
When we explain her (with hands and feet) that we changed our mind and now want to go to the railway station (our hostel is close by), she agrees and lets us go. What a sweetheart.

shinto temple

K's house kitchen
At six o'clock we arrive at our hostel.
Lovely room, two good bunk beds, a sofa, a writing desk and even a TV.
Everything is clean and new.
All this in Kyoto, for so little money.
In the kitchen, also excellent, we heat the Okonomiyaki that Yasuko gave us. We eat it in the large lounge, There are a also number of computers. Then we relaxe and and make our reports.

May 16
We sleep until 8.00 pm,
At the reception of the hostel we can buy a daypass for the buses in Kyoto. Very useful.
A long bus ride brings us to the botanical gardens of Kyoto.
In the bus you can see on a screen the Japanese and English name of the next stop.
Moreover, in two languages the next stop is announced.
It's lovely weather.

Near the gardens along the banks of the river children and older peolple enjoy fishing, playing sports, watching the water.

begonia

relaxing
 
spare time

botanical garden
A good place for us to eat our yoghurt. Cosy. It's Sunday, so the Japanese will go out.

The botanical garden is a delight to see. Beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers in particular.
In the big greenhouse (free admission for those over 60) we are really surprised about all the different kinds of orchids, exotic flowers and (fruit)trees.

ticket machine


seat for baby's
Around lunchtime people relax on the grass or sit on benches to eat;
a real Sunday afternoon feeling.

On many places there are toilets, for women also some with a special seat for little children, smart.

lunch time

sunday afternoon

cleaning goes on

statue sumo wrestler

writing

Daitoku-ji complex

We take the bus to the Daitoku-ji complex, a large area with a number of temples.

First we go to the Ryogen-in Zen Temple, famed for its five Zengardens, including the smallest rock garden in Japan.


smallest Zen garden

larger garden Ryogen-in

moss garden
It is impressive to see the symbolism shown by the very artfully raked gravel and the rocks.
Sea, earth, islands, sky, time, eternity: stone becomes meditation.
In a part of the garden the beauty of the moss amazes us. (Why do we remove moss in our gardens?)


Kaiso-do, the hall of the founder
In the temple itself we see nice handiwork and there are beautiful paintings, including a dragon.
Very moving and extremely harmonious. The painted landscapes are of astonishing sophistication.

folding screen

dragon
Another temple is the Daisen-in.
It is also famous for its symbolic sand and gravel gardens. It's very busy because several tea ceremonies are going on. Sunday seems to be an excellent day for experiencing it.
We don't feel the need to enjoy.
We get a handy "guide-board" to go around.
It explains a lot about the Zen gardens.
Stones symbolize animals with special meanings and there is a gate that points at a moment of doubt (eg: Who am I, what am I doing here)
.
Because we can not take pictures, we buy postcards.

explanation plate

daisen-in garden

daisen-in garden

kinkaku-ji
Our next stop is Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion. Again (understandably) a huge crowd.
But enough space to take pictures of the beautiful gold leaf-clad pavilion mirrored in the pond and surrounded by a beautiful garden.


phoenix on the golden temple

little pagoda
High above, with a beautiful view, is a traditional thatched teahouse.
Below we drink, very Western, a Coke and end our visit with an ice cream. Marineke buys an amulet for health.

The beauty of the temples is not to be put into words, you have to experience it.

kikukuji complex

interviewers
Again we are often interviewed by school boys and girls: "Are you free ... Can I ask you a question ...?" They use special forms received from their school. They are very polite and nice and after answering their questions we often get a small gift.

A long bus ride back to the hostel.
We stop at a shopping street where it is very busy. (because of sunday… shopping day).
We buy food for dinner and tomorrow's breakfast.
"At home" we eat a meal and write our daily report.


remember

Yasaka shrine

Just before dark we take the bus to the Yasaka shrine, a colourful Shinto Complex.
Entirely lit by lanterns.
Quietly, almost dreamlike.


Occasionally people pull a long thick rope and are clapping hands to call the attention of the gods and pray for a favor.


lanterns Yasaka complex
In the streets of Gion is a pleasant bustle. Eateries, shops, nightlife, bars, geishas.
All relaxed, not noisy, not vulgar, not annoying, not intrusive.
It is a wonderfully balmy evening.
At one spot beside the river many people sit or stroll along the waterfront, two boys playing and singing "Simon and Garfunkel"-like music.
We have a chat with a couple from Taiwan.
Nice young people. We exchange business cards. May be we will mail each other.

Pontocho
In short, we feel quite good.
It is a wonderfull evening.

We walk through a charming cobbled street (Pontocholane)
and take the bus back to the hostel.

Yasaka

May 17
At the reception of the hostel we buy another day pass. First we walk to the station to to see more of this special building. We enjoy its modern architecture. We ask a something about our train tomorrow (which platform should we go?)
Then we take the escalator (a large number of floors) to the roof garden. From here you have a nice view of a large part of Kyoto. We can also see the trains (including shinkansen with their plane-like shape).

construction ceiling

escalators

roof garden

Nishi-Higashi-Hongen-ji
The first temple we want to see today is the Nishi Higashi-Hong-ji,near the station.
It is again a very large, beautifully constructed temple course.
Downstairs in the basement, is built a very modern theatre.

movie: ceremoy
We watch a movie about evenements in and around the temple, including a number of ceremonies associated with the seasons.
cleaning together

beautifull construction
 
model
Much of the temple is restored, scaffolding look very solid.
In the main temple is a service in progress, women play an active role.

entrance
Then we want to go to the castle of Kyoto, but we can not find the appropriate bus stop.
So we walk back to the station to take the bus to the Fushimi Shrine to see the thousants orange torii (Japanese gate for a temple), donated by businessmen.
thousants

many foxes

fox

start of the walk

explanation

walk

walk
It's a long, long walk through the gates, up to the mountain.
But we do not finish it (many people gave up; even people younger than us). It is to hot and heavy.
But the walk is obviously very special.
Along the walk we chat with people from Ireland.
Sharing about our journey: Japan so interesting, people so polite, so kind, the land so nice to travel around and of course all the beautiful things we see here.

thousants

lanes

There are several little alleys. On either side of the lanes we see altars and monuments with
again many torii and foxes


lanes

altars

torii

torii


lanterns

dry rot

peaceful

ceremony

fortune

Sanjusangen hall
We have to wait a long time for the bus back.
Halfway the ride we get off the bus to visit the Sanjusangen.
Two sweet old ladies in a shop have a written route description for us. Apparently often people are searching the Sanjusangen. The temple is fascinating.

Sanjusangen-do
There are 1001 almost identical images of Kannon, the goddess of grace and mercy.
Each image has 33 appearances (hands).
The total represents an infinity of grace, the statues stand on either side of the huge and beautiful Buddha statue.

Sanjusangen-do

guards
In front are about 20 guards (statues).
These hark back to old images of Indian gods and mythological figures.
All very impressive.

Sanjusangen-do

garden
The walk around the temple is also an experience, nice buildings and garden.

purification

nice streets

When we walk back to the hostel we pass some nice streets and see shops for craftsmen.

In the the hostel we rest and eat something.
Again we take the bus to Gion to make some pictures (yesterday we didn't bring our camera).


sharpening blades

Yasaka shrine
Now we can at our ease take pictures of the beautiful buildings of the Yasaka shrine.
There are more people who do so and enjoy the ambiance; it is very relaxing.

purification
 
waterwell

shrine
A young moon above the temple, framed by the dark silhouette of pine trees, makes this a truly Japanese print (not possible to photograph, too dark).
It is wonderful to walk in this very beautiful and peaceful surrounding.

shrine

dining

kamo river

like a fary tale
We walk through some nice streets in Gion,
do some shopping,
drive back to the station
and get money at the ATM.
In the hostel we have to pack our luggage again (unfortunately: we like it here), tomorrow we go on.

little temple


packed
May 18
Up at half past seven, after a small breakfast we go (heavily packed) to the station.

Kyoto station

shinkansen
On our train ticket we can read the number of the reserved seat and in which train compartment it is located.
In each station, on each platform, one can find where the train compartment will stop.
(In Kyoto at the Shinkansen platform there is also an electronic sign above the platform).
In the right compartment it is easy to find your seat. Everything is perfectly organized and the trains run on time (to the second).
At this moment it's business time, so very busy, especially people catching the local train.
But we are on time and it is quiet on the platform of Shinkansen. We can take a rest on a bench. Everything is very disciplined.
In the train we have a comfortable seat.
In the same train there is a school class with their teachers. They have a lot of fun (this month is school-trip- month). They leave at Nagoya. Then it is suddenly very quiet in the train.
After almost two hours we are in Odawara.
At the station we first buy the Hakone Free Pass.

school trip

Japanese style
Trains, cablecars, ropeways, boats and major bus lines to can be used within the free area of the Hakone Free Pass and museums en parks e.g. give a discount.
It looks expensive (3900 Yen), but it is worth and it is very convenient.
The bus brings us in about 50 minutes to our guest house. The road is very curving and the scenery is beautiful: wonderful mountains, sometimes a foaming stream or river,
The the Fuji Hakone Guest house is very easy to find (map at their website).
We are very warmly welcomed:
A Japanese (bed)room with futons on tatami mats, sliding doors, low table and cushions, towels and yukata (bathrobe). There is a onsen (sulphur bath) outside and also one inside.
You use the bath private when you set a preferred time.
Lisa says that we better today should go with the cable car because tomorrow the weather can be bad.
By bus we drive first to Gora to catch the cable car to Souzan station.

cable car

ropeway
At Souzan we transfer to the ropeway to Owakudani (valley of the great cooking).
Here are sulphurous springs.
In the gondola, at some point we see suddenly the Fuji, with a snowy summit and flanks in the sunlight, some clouds playing around.
A sigh of emotion passes through the gondola.

Fuji San

sulphur industry

steam vents and bubbling pools

snowy summit

Fuji San
At Owakudani, a popular tourist point, we can also see the Fuji.
It is going more and more behind the clouds, so we were lucky.
We buy black eggs boiled in the hot sulfur sources.

black eggs


very nice couple

After eating these eggs, you will stay healthy for seven years, as they say. Not bad, we think.
Owakudani is a nice spot.
Many Japanese and a few "barbarian" tourists have fun.
We meet a very friendly couple from Hiroshima and Spanish boys take a picture of us.

pleasant spot

boiling eggs
It is amusing to track the transportation of black eggs to the ropeway and the hotel.
transportation

sulphur steam and bubbling pool

ropeway

lake Ashi

lake Ashi

pirate ship
 
pirate ship and Hakone-en
We continue the ropeway to the Ashi lake.
There are Walt-Disney-like replicas of old pirate boats. They are used as a ferry and sail to the other side of the lake.
The lake is beautifully situated between mountains.
It is already somewhat later in the afternoon, so we take the boat back to Togendai and then the bus to our guesthouse.
In the nearby supermarket, we buy some food and prepare it in the central kitchen.

hotel

onsen
Then write a little bit and then it's time to take a bath.
First we thoroughly wash and shower ourselves, to be very clean when we go into the onsen, because others will also use it.
Very slowly we go in, because it is really hot.
It is a good feeling but at a certain point you will find it too hot and want to get out. It is very relaxing and fatigue drops out.

busstop
19 May
Breakfast is European: Toast, boiled egg, jam, yoghurt, fruit, orange juice.
The weather is terrible: rainy and very windy.
But never mind, the bus is dry and it brings us to where we stopped yesterday: Moto Hakone.

in the bus

bad weather
The ships stay inside because of wind.
And the grey rain clouds hang over the water.

mist

lane
We walk to the Hakone shrine.
The Shinto temple (again with red gates) is in the mist, offering a mysterious sight.
It is an old and famous temple, beautifully situated among ancient cedars.
Some of these trees are over one meter thick.
Hakone Shrine stands on Mt. Hakone which has been considered as a spiritual place worshipping since the old days.
The shrine was constructed in 757 by the priest Mangan Shonin and many great warlords came to worship.

going up
The primary kami of Hakone Shrine are Ninigi-no-Mikoto Konohanasakuya-hime, and Hoori-no-Mikoto, collectively known as the Hakone Gongen
main entrance

many buildings
The Hakone Gongen makes one's wish come true and gives good fortune and traffic safety.

Despite the rain again school buses with children visit the shrine.
The temple has several nice outbuildings and is very well kept.

little shrine

instruction
We enjoy a nice fountain with a dragon, besides it is an instruction board how to purify.
washbasin

wishes

wishes

wishes
We see a lot of desire boards and papers,
some in English

wishes

holy tree
A giant cedar is hollow, like a cave.
hollow tree

trail

old monuments

rope
There is a little trail going in the forest, we see some statues and lanterns. It is misty and mysterious.
We walk from Moto Hakone through a cedar avenue to the palace garden of the former imperial residence.
It lies on a peninsula.
Hakone Detached Palace used to serve as a summer palace for the Imperial Family, but was later opened to the public.
The relatively small and simple palace building is surrounded by a beautiful Onshi Hakone park, which offers nice walking trails and scenic views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji, if visibility permits.
Now you see only a gray curtain.

residential garden

pruned trees
The garden is beautifully shaped with large pruned trees, a lawn and a rose garden.
But the wind blows us away.

rain
We catch the bus to Hatajuku, a village famous for its beautiful wood inlay.
Boxes and chests are made in the traditional mosaic patterns.
A gentleman shows us the way to a studio that is open.
The owner/craftsman shows how he puts together many different colours of wood (and therefore different kinds of wood) and how he creates pretty boxes and other things.
We buy a few gifts.

different wood

wooden inlay patterns

Via a different route back we try the local train.
That is indeed an experience. The train meanders through beautiful mountain areas (sometimes through tunnels) as a zigzag. Manuel and I sit opposite each other and one time he goes forward, the time I do.
The driver of the train changes positions.
It's very beautiful, maybe a bit like Switzerland.
You can spend many days in this area: so much to see ... and in fine weather beautiful trails to walk.

We are early in our guesthouse where we register for a another onsen bath tonight and spent some time writing and reading.
We prepare a Japanese meal in the microwave.
Because it is raining, the bath is also a different experience.
After the bath, we keep wearing the beautiful yakuta's till we go to bed.

yakuta's


indoor hot bath
May 20
We get up early.
Again a wet day, with occasional rain showers.
Marineke takes a bath in the indoor onsen.
After this we have breakfast and chat with an English couple.
The bus to Odawara is perfect on time. In every bus is a complete machinery to change money, check your ticket e.g.

machinery
In Odawara we ask for the post office and they refer ur to a small office near the station. The ATM is again a generous one.
We drink coffee, go to the platform and the Shinkansen is again perfectly in time.
Manuel has the intention to write the Dutch railways that they should make an excursion to Japan, to learn planning from the Japanese railways. In nice seats we ride in a hour to Nagoya where we have to change.
Again the platform is found quickly, only we can not find the boarding area, but of course their are again friendly helpers.

Nagoya station

lunch
It's another beautiful, nice train; the chairs can turn around depending on the direction of travel.
We wait until the train rides and turn them around so we move forward. Too bad, after the first stop the train goes the other way back. We move the chair again. Diagonally across from us four Japanese women have a pretty good lunch from bento boxes.
Oops… we forgot to store some food.
Fortunately we can buy something (sandwiches and a nice rice snacks) from a trolley that comes by.

nicely wrapped

sushi
The weather improves, the landscape becomes more and more more beautiful.
We ride along a river, and see beautiful rice fields, villages, bridges, industry, hills and mountains.
It is a very relaxing and nice trip.

narrow-gauge

nice scenery

rice fields

tea and other things

river and village

river

dredging

collecting wood

nice trip
In Takayama (on time of course) a lady from the tourist office (she is an exception because she is not bowing and smiling) shows us where our hotel is. She gives us two maps of Takayama (one more detailed with a walking trail).
The hotel Acty is near by and we can directly move into the room. Comfortable, with private bath, shower and toilet. The hotel is beside the (relatively) busy street, the only draw back.
We refreshe ourselves and walk into town.

nice room

traditional houses
In the old quarter are many traditional houses.
Many shops sell souvenirs, including a lot of food: snacks and sweets in pretty boxes and nice packages for gifts.
About four o'clock the streets become quiet (the day visitors are gone).
We walk to the Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall.

puppet
They have hundreds of masks of lions and many other historical artifacts and they have a puppet show.
We are the only spectators and the two ladies give a private performance.
The puppets are moved by clever mechanics.
There are acrobats, martial dolls, a doll as a man who proposes to change into a lion, small tumbling dolls and a doll that writes "happy" to us in English and in Japanese.
All very amusing.
The dolls are part of floats to be driven out twice a year during a festival.
Tomorrow we go to the float museum.

puppet

instruction

hero does his duty

private session

acrobat
The acrobat gets applause
applause

writing "happy"
 
manipulating the puppet


present from the puppet

Karakuri (mechanical) puppets or marionettes are made of wood, silk and brocade or embroidered cloth.
They are operated by strings and push rods.


There are many mask to see,
some very old.
There is also an exhibition of how the masks are made, in severel steps:
from a block of wood till the mask as it is used in ceremonies.

painting

exhibition of lion masks

golden mask

drawing on a piece of wood

first cutting

refinement

ready

ceremonial drum

In the hall you can buy toys and ceremonial puppets and of course some nicely wrapped sweets.

There is also a machine with a puppet who tells you about your fate.
We throw a coin into it, but
unfortunately we can not read it.


presents

fortune speller

fortune teller

fate

Sakurayama Hachimangu

Outside, we walk to the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine. we have just a little look;
Monks are closing the huge golden doors.


guard

horse
Insteed we admire a beautiful horse statue It becomes really quiet outside.

We pass a very nice temple, we like the atmosphere.

Takayama Betsuin Shourenji
In a cafeteria at the bar we eat a simple but nutritious meal. At the checkout there is a small misunderstanding. Manuel gives without noticing an American coin instead of 100 yen. It creates confusion.
In the hotel the room is very warm, but to open the window gives a lot of noise and the nasty smell of petrol.
So against our habit we use the fan, but briefly.
Marineke goes to the special hot tub for women situated on the top floor of this hotel.
May 21,
The weather is beautiful.
The booking includes breakfast.
We can choose between Japanese and Western breakfast. Both are excellent.

We walk to one of the the morning markets (Jinya Mae), not large but cosy (mainly local products). Many stalls have both fruit and souvenirs (often homemade).

Western breakfast


We buy a special (selfmade) Sarubobopuppet
from Takayama: bringing luck.


sarubobo puppets

We walk a trail (Higashiyama walking course) along a lot of temples.
We don't go inside the temples; we love to walk through nature. The trail is actually partly situated in a nature park (Shiroyama Park) on a mountain.
In the distance we can see the snowcapped mountains.
We hear birds very nice singing.
In a resting area fly many brutal tit-like specimens. One is taking a position right on Marineke's camera.
But is to quick to be photographed.

cheeky bird

Main World Shrine

snowcapped mountains

Higashiyama walking course

Higashiyama walking course

Higashiyama temple area

crocket

cemetery

cemetery

nicely ornamented
We don't finish the trail,
but go to the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall.
The floats date back to the 17th century, and are decorated with intricate carvings of gilded wood, and detailed metal-work, rich design,
Detailed carving, lacquering and beautiful decorative metal-works is found not only on the outside of the floats, but inside as well, under the roof and behind the panels
.

embrodery

four of the floats in the Hall

beauty and wealth

ancient costumes
floats are as high as 6.9m (23 ft.) and are mounted on wheels. matsuri

floats at night
At the moment there are 4 floats in the museum, the others are stored in special storehouses throughout the city. The museum changes the floats three times a year.
Twice a year: in spring (sowing time ) and autumn (harvest time), all floats leave their halls for a festival and move through the city.
They are of an incredible beauty and wealth.
We see in a movie theater a documentary about the parade. Especially at night when lit with lanterns, (100 chochin lanterns on each of the floats) it must be an unique spectacle.
The floats (yatai) are escorted on a tour of the city by people in traditional kimono or hakama.
Each float reflects the district in Takayama which it represents. The craftsmanship and the Hotei tai “has intricate marrionettes” which perform on top.
The puppet show is registered as a "cultural asset”.
The puppets or “on Hotei Tai (the god of fortune)” require 9 puppet masters to manipulate the 36 strings which make the marionettes move in a lifelike manner, with gestures, turns and other movements.
Matsuri

Sakurayama Nikko Hall
In addition, Sakurayama Nikko Hall
(same ticket), we see a model of the famous temples in Nikko.
A feast for the eyes.
A computer controls the light over time (from sunrise to sunset).
Again beautiful handicrafts.

Sakurayama Nikko Hall
There are also a lot of beautiful puppets showing a procession.
Sakurayama Nikko Hall

waiting for the roasted beef

We are hungry and buy a famous Takayama beef satay in a window shop.

When we look up,
we see a very fascinating way of handling electricity.

Surprising that their are no accidents.


very nice

electricity mess
We walk to the station,
buy tickets for the bus to the museum village of Hida.
The bus ride takes about 8 minutes.
It's an open air museum;
in a pretty park, where old houses (farms and workshops) have been moved to.

Hida Folk Village

steep roofs
These houses have special steep roofs to let down the heavy snow.
fire places

storage

room

altar
Every house has an altar, nice coloured and beautiful ornaments bowl

plan of the house
We can also admire the layout and construction of the reed roofs.
Again no nail is used into the rafters! All beams were tied together with rope.
You get a very clear picture of the hard rural life as it used to be.

alcove

maquette
constructions
maquette

thatch

ropes

water wheel

Each has a specialty (sawmill, weaving, farming tools, etc.).

We enjoy this museum very much and stay a long time to look at all the different tools of the artisans


vespiary

souvenirs and sweets
In the inevitable souvenir shop, we buy some postcards.
We take the bus back and we walk some more through the city looking for a park and a bench, actually we are much too tired (it's very hot today).

rivulet

flowershop
In the city we buy some beautiful wooden bowls as gifts for our relatives.
We arrive to late to the shrine that we actually wanted to see more extensive, again the they just close the doors.

bird

cross-cut tatami mat
Marineke takes some pictures of objects she finds interesting
smart idea

gunshop

can dispenser

water dispenser

bye bye Takayama
Near the hotel we eat Okonomiyaki.
We admire the skill with which the lady makes the okonomiyaki.
In the meantime, she is also baking octopus balls.
For once we take a beer. It tastes good.
In the hotel we pack again, tomorrow we leave.

octopus balls

go to Hiroshima, Okayama, Nara and Koyasan

go to Kobe