Tokyo, Nagoya, Takayama
6 days away
350 km / 217 miles since last post
10,120 km / 6,288 miles total
An early start on what seems to look like another beautiful day. We had to pack up our belongings into our backpacks, check out of the hotel and grab the hotel shuttle bus to Shinjuku station at 8:25am. We just about made it, with a few minutes to spare.
From Shinjuku station we made a short train ride to Tokyo station, where we would be catching the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya. The trains are amazing, so clean and efficient (as, it seems, are all the trains here) but the bullet train is something special. It gets up to speeds of 200 mph, and you can really feel the speed once you leave the city behind and they go flat out.
The distance from Tokyo to Nagoya is roughly 350km, which it manages to cover in just under 2 hours - a smooth journey all the way. The staff are very polite and both the conductor and the lady serving the refreshments bow each time they enter and exit the carriage.
Upon arrival in Nagoya it was an easy 22 minute wait for our connecting train to Takayama, our final destination. Not a bullet train unfortunately but still clean and comfortable. One thing we hadn't realised before is tha the seats can be rotated. This way you can always be facing the direction of travel.
The train journey to Takayama was great, lots of amazing scenery along the way - beautiful rivers, mountains, valleys and autumn colours. Plenty of photo opportunities which made the time pass quickly. Upon arrival in Takayama we made our way to our hotel - Parkcity Hotel.
It was only 10 minutes walk from the station. It seems a very nice place, fairly basic, but comfortable. There is no en-suite toilet or shower room, but we specifically picked somewhere that wasn't going to be too expensive, and this is one way to keep the costs down.
After dumping our stuff in our room, we headed straight out to explore the town, dipping in and out of the many different shops as we went. After realising that we hadn't eaten any lunch yet and it was about 3pm, we found a little place served soba (thin buckwheat noodles) and udon (thick wheat noodles). This sounded very tempting, and we decided to have the soba noodles with Hida beef (the speciality highly-marbled beef of the region), all washed down with a Asahi beer. It was totally delicious, and the women who worked there were really friendly and helpful. What a great find!
We noticed that a man outside the noodle place was steaming some food, and we strolled over. He was making some steamed pumpkin sweet buns - really tasty, sweet and light. They were the perfect thing to have as we have noticed that it is quite colder here than in Tokyo.
We carried on walking through the streets of Takayama until it started to get dark. Then we decided to head back the hotel to settle in for the night. I think we may decide to try and extend our stay in Takayama for another night, as it seems a lovely town and I think there is still more to explore.