Traditional Takayama

We’ve arrived in the exquisite little Japanese town of Takayama. We’re staying at the gorgeous traditional homestay of Guesthouse and cafe SOY 

This beautiful house is chock a bloc full of beautiful dark wood, sliding doors, futons and other traditional Japanese architecture and decor.

We can heartily recommend this lovely little place. It’s about 15 minutes out of town but the wonderful Tai happily picks you up and drops you off.

You also get the most gorgeously presented breakfasts each morning – each one was like a 5 star restaurant creation!

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After adjusting to our new surroundings for a while it’s off to the gorgeous town of Takayama.

Takayama is a city in Japan’s mountainous Gifu Prefecture.

The narrow streets of its Sanmachi Suji historic district are lined with beautiful wooden merchants’ houses dating to the Edo Period.

Takayama is known as a “little Kyoto” for its gridiron street plan and preserved, historic, wooden buildings.

Even though the small streets get hellishly clogged with sightseers, it is impossible not to be charmed by this lovely little place.

Takayama has a proliferation of Sake breweries, easily spotted by odd balls  found hanging outside. These are Sugidama, which means “cedar ball,” and that’s what they are, fresh cedar branches tied together and clipped into a perfect spheres.

Sake makers would hang up a fresh green sugidama in November or December, right after they pressed sake made from the new rice harvest. Customers knew that a few months later, when the sugidama turned completely brown, the sake was ready to drink.

These days, you’re most likely to spot a sugidama outside sake sellers and restaurants that pride themselves on a great selection of nihonshu (sake).

Prepare yourself for multitude of snaps from this incredibly photogenic little town!

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