Friday, February 14, 2014

Globetrotting: Japan, Part 3

{photo by my son--from the observation deck}

This was the day we were to get a closer look at the Japanese Alps. We didn't have as much time as we would have liked--missing our bus would have caused a big headache--but we still wanted to fit in a quick visit.

{rise and shine}

{traditional breakfast--salad, egg, meat, fish, soup}

{in the tram, heading skyward}

{photo by my husband--observation deck, stunning views, a little chilly}

{older daughter photographing the view}

{just enough time for a mini hike in the lush alpine forest}

Had to leave too soon. Back down the two trams to the bottom, where the kids enjoyed some ice cream while we waited for our bus. Culture points went to my son who got the wasabi ice cream.

The bus dropped us off back at Souen where we enjoyed the village a bit more while waiting for our next bus to take us to Takayama, where we would be staying the next 2 nights. We met a local girl who played with us at the old-school playground and walked us back to our ryokan (pictured below). She didn't speak English (so she spoke with my husband) but was very friendly.

Picked up our luggage, had our new young friend snap a family photo, and then waited at the bus stop. While waiting I strolled along the road to find endless inspiration in the gardens. Most homes in rural areas and in the suburbs have gardens--flower and vegetable. I am a lousy gardener . . . er . . . rather, I am still learning, so I love, love, love seeing gardens that work, that thrive, that produce so much goodness and beauty.

{view of our dream stay and part of the garden--oh, I was going to miss those mountains}

Caught the bus, made it to Takayama, and found our hotel, the Rickshaw Inn. (To make the more splurge-y parts of the trip possible we opted to go a little more modest on some other areas. Though our hotel in Takayama was more humble than what we had experienced the night before, the staff was top-notch and so very friendly and helpful.)

Our day ended with a long walk around town to find a 7-11 convenience store--the ONLY chain in Japan, apparently, that had ATMs that accepted our cards. We were out of cash so the party was going to have to wait until we had reloaded. Once we were rich again, we grabbed some snacks and headed out to find where the local festival fireworks show was happening.

{photo by my son--this was how we ended our night}

I remember being so tired that I wondered if we should just skip the next day's activity (next post). We were scheduled to meet so early, it seemed, and it was just some bus ride to see some old village. Blah, blah, blah. I was tired.

But we went.

Oh, man. Sleeping in would have been a big mistake, folks. The place was . . . magic. 

Like a fantasy landscape. 

But real.

(That's up next.)

1 comment:

Abigail said...

The most beautiful shade of green! How amazing.I can totally see the magic part of it.

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