Monday, November 24, 2014

Takayama Diary Pt 1 - Jul 2014

As part of our honeymoon, we headed down to Japan - specifically to Takayama in the Gifu Prefecture. It was our first time staying in a ryoken in Japan and having watched countless episodes of Japanhour, we were damm excited to get that full ryoken experience.

Our ryoken was located in a mountain deep into the prefecture, in fact we took an awfully long time to get there : Nagoya airport -> train to central nagoya -> train to Takayama -> 2.5 bus ride! Thankfully the scenery along the way was gorgeous, sprawling mountains and waterfalls, a welcome sight from the past few months of busy wedding planning.

Snacks on the train. I love the convenience stores in Japan, even the humble egg sandwich taste so good, what is in that soft fluffy white bread! Train rides in Japan are the best! Clean, comfortable, quiet and great food. 

We experienced the wonderful (and honestly disconcerting) Japanese hospitality the moment we got off the bus. 100m away from our hotel, the staff came out, bowed to us and ran over to get our luggage. This was a traditional ryoken so nobody could speak english and we basically communicated using sign language over the next few days; so thankful they were incredibly patient and polite. 

View of the hot spring in our ryoken. Gorgeous. Too bad we came during summer but the weather was still cool enough for a quick dip. 

Our traditional tatami room. I love the thick beds, we were hopelessly ignorant and didn't know what the many other small rooms were for haha 

Of cos, the best thing about staying in ryokens, other than the bathing facilities would be the food! Breakfast and dinner are provided here and those meals were the highlight of our stay, scratch that, highlight of our entire trip. 

So Takayama is known for its beef (hida beef) and our dinner options were various ways of cooking beef - tepanyaki, sukiyaki, grilled etc 

The start of our 10 course meal. I love how exquisite everything looked.  
Prepared with so much love! 

 The ridiculously beautiful hida beef. 

Grilling mah beef. Bitting into the meat was like hearing a thousand angels singing, I got goosebumps from how delicious it was, the fatty beef just melting away into your tastebuds. 
So damm good. Best beef I have ever eaten hands down. Sure I took a 20 hour trip to get there but damm was it worth it. 

Tiny clams in my miso soup that amused me

Breakfast the next morning. Doesn't matter how full I am. Just gonna keep eating because everything tasted so good.

Fresh produce, from the farms of takayama. 
Yes, I was darn lucky to be experiencing this. 

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