All Posts Tagged ‘Takayama


Japan – Shinhotaka Ropeway

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Moving further north in Takayama, Howard and I found ourselves in 8ft of snow. No seriously we did. There was even a snowman.

Jumping off the bus I was instantly relieved once again that I had bought those emergency wellies. I couldn’t believe how cold it was either, good job I had bought layers as that was all we wore for the last two days in northern Takayama.


If you look behind me you can see the big mound of snow by the bus!

One of the highlights of our trip was our visit to the Shinhotaka Ropeway, which, if you get chance to go, GO!

Being crammed into a cable car full of people was actually quite unnerving as I was half expecting the cable to snap at any moment and plummet us all down the mountain. Howard and I were the only English people there, but everyone was extremely friendly (as were all the Japanese we met) and a couple even ‘adopted’ us during the trip. Telling us the best places to stand and asking us to pose for photos with them so they could show their children once they had returned home.


The lovely lady who took a shine to Howard and I

Japanese friends

More Japanese friends!


deep snow

I wasn’t joking when I said 8ft of snow

Of course, after another busy day, it was only right that we each had an onsen to recover. This time the pools were much bigger and there were even outside areas so you could bathe whilst looking out at the mountains. It was beautiful.


Outside onsen



Japan – Takayama

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My boyfriend and I recently had an amazing trip to Japan (18th April to 5th May). After an exhausting flight and a bewildering 24 hours jet lagged in Tokyo we got the train to Takayama (north – west of Japan) for days 2 – 6.

Due to it being cooler up north we were extremely fortunate in that we managed to witness the famous cherry blossom. As the trees only bloom for 2 weeks before dropping their flowers, it can be easily missed.

Takayama was much more traditional (I would even describe it as quite ‘quaint’) than Tokyo and its peacefulness was really what we needed to get over the 24 hour journey from Wakefield to Japan.

Unfortunately due to the rain (and later snow) it became quickly clear that I had not brought the right footwear for this part (sandals and flip flops only) so wellies were quickly sourced and purchased. I definitely didn’t expect my first purchase in Japan to be wellies but half the things that happened on the trip were pretty unexpected, as it turned out.

We checked into our Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn), Takayama Kanko, that was situated at the top of the town and had a lovely view of Takayama and the blossom.

The hotel concierge was the politest man I had ever met in my life. In his broken English he guided us around every single area of the Ryokan before taking us to our room where he insisted on making us green tea. Unfortunately I think I offended him by immediately making the school girl error of walking into our room with my shoes on, exclaiming with delight at how lovely it was. First lesson quickly learnt – ALWAYS take your shoes off in Japan, even in many restaurants.


Treated to green tea in our ryokan room

ryokan view

Beautiful view outside the ryokan

Day 3 we decided to take a trip to Shirakowa Go as we had recently spotted it on the Lonely Planet guide to places to go in 2014. We took a local bus up there (about £40 each return – 45min each way) and it was free entry to the main area. We walked around dodging the tourists before stumbling across a more private part. We paid about £3 each to go into the ‘museum area’ and found ourselves in beautiful scenery, completely on our own. This instantly changed both our perceptions on the place and if you ever visit – head to the part where you have to pay – it’s so worth it.

Shirakawa go

Stunning scenery at Shirakawa go

thatched roofs

The thatched roofs is what makes Shirakawa-go famous


Spot the wellies that proved to be a life-saver

That evening we had booked a private onsen (you’re allowed 45 minutes inclusive of your room booking) and it was amazing. Japan is built on volcanic rock so it is home to many hot springs. It was a perfect way to relax as we were still struggling to get over our jet lag.


Private onsen, wearing the kimonos that are provided at all hotels in Japan