Posted by: Laura | December 3, 2008

Takayama

Cool lamps at our favorite (but expensive) store in Takayama

Cool lamps at our favorite (but expensive) store in Takayama

In the morning we headed to both of the Morning Markets that occur in Takayama (they even have convenient little tiles built into the sidewalks to direct you to them – attention to details!).  It was a great showcase of all that Takayama has to offer.  The first one was more like a farmer’s market with mostly fresh fruits and veggies (and yummy free samples), but the second one had many local crafts in addition to it’s fresh fruits and veggies.  We found one actual store which opened up to the street where the market occurs that we all absolutely loved.  After I wandered through the store taking pictures without a flash (because to me the sign just said no flash), Paul said that we weren’t actually supposed to take pictures at all… oops!

They are steaming buns in that box!

They are steaming buns in that box!

We wandered through the rest of the market along side the river and got some yummy food.  Mandy got a Hida Beef Croquette, while Paul and I got steamed buns with Hida Beef in them.  Hida Beef is just beef that comes from cows raised in the Hida region of Japan.  It’s very good, the same beef that made our yakiniku dinner so good.

Then we headed back to our car at the minshuku to head to Hida No Sato, a tiny little village that has been moved to the hills of Takayama to preserve it as a cultural treasure of sorts.  There was alot of interesting stuff there that would be hard to briefly explain, so I’ll just put up a few pictures here, and then more up on a picture site eventually.

Add a little more snow... and a warm glow from inside of one of the buildings... and this could so be a Thomas Kinkade painting right?

Add a little more snow... and a warm glow from inside of one of the buildings... Anyone else think this looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting?

Craftsman making sandals

Craftsman making sandals

Craftsman making spoons

Craftsman making spoons

Manekineko - Lucky Cat Dolls

Manekineko - Lucky Cat Dolls

Kusakabe House Fireplace

Kusakabe House Fireplace

After Hida No Sato, we headed back into town to do some shopping.  But, while walking I spotted the Kusakabe House.  We walked by, and I saw the name and said, “Hey, that’s in my guidebook… I think that’s one of the things we’re supposed to see” – to which Paul said, “Oh, that’s the house with the famous fireplace and kagizuru I always see pictures of… yes we should go there.”  A kagizuru is that which the pot over the fireplace hangs on.  A man came over and said he could guide us, but alas… it was all in Japanese.  Paul translated some of it for me though so I wasn’t completely lost.

After that, we still wanted to do some shopping, so we headed through another street where we stumbled upon a temple.  We walked through to the other side where we found a museum with masks and stuff, that also did a karakuri marionette show.  Karakuri is a doll made by Japanese artisians after one repairman became fascinated by the intricate workings of the Shogon’s watch when it needed to be fixed.  So anyways, the kids in us again took over and we went in.  It was actually a very good show.  Mandy even got asked to participate.  On of their marionettes was designed to bring a cup of tea to a guest.  The doll operates without strings.  It stops moving when the tea is taken off of it’s tray.  When the guest is done drinking the tea and returns the cup to the tray, the doll actually returns back to it’s original starting point.  It is a little rough, but still it’s pretty impressive considering the how long ago it was created.  Then after our show, we got to go behind the scenes and see how everything worked – that was pretty cool.  And then on to the masks!

Mandy drinking tea that the Karakuri marianet brought over to her

Mandy drinking tea that the Karakuri marionette brought over to her

Behind the scenes at the Marionette show

Behind the scenes at the Marionette show

I definately have seen this face before... cover it with fur, and you have... that flying thing from the Never Ending Story!

One of the Masks in their collection. I definately have seen this face before... cover it with fur, and you have... that flying thing from the Never Ending Story!

After the show and the masks, finally… on to shopping!  We wandered around, bought some goodies and dinner, and then headed back to the minshuku for the night.

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Responses

  1. Yes, the picture does look like a Thomas Kinkade. I don’t like Kinkade pictures, but not because of the pictures themselves. This is actually even better. Kinkades pictures are done “scientifically” to appeal to the senses. And it works. We studied it in one of my Masters courses. Your picture has all of those appealing colors, etc. and is beautiful naturally.
    The mask does look like the creature in “The Never Ending Story” but not as friendly, maybe an evil twin.
    Love, Mom and Dad


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