I just returned from a brief walk in Takayama. My main objectives were to locate various things to make Tracie feel a little better (e.g. cough drops, orange juice, Sprite, Vicks Vapor Rub). Remarkably I was able to find all of these things (yes, even the Vicks) within a very short distance from the hotel. I also visited one of the morning markets. It’s fairly cold outside and I wanted to take Tracie’s things back to her quickly, but I did take some photos while I was walking.
Takayama is a small but tightly packed town. old, traditionally styled buildings stand cheek to jowl with modern convenience stores and trinket shops. there are many shops with beautiful hand-crafted objects like furniture, pottery. etc. The streets are quite small but fairly busy.This is the largest street in town, if one can accurately judge scale from the tourist map I picked up:
Here are a few photos of storefronts and other things on the way to the market:
I suppose the word “quaint” is not inappropriate although it’s not a word that I particularly care for.The market I visited (there are two) overlooks the river. The river is unspectacular; the banks are concrete (probably to prevent erosion from undermining the buildings), the water is low and somewhat silty. There is a nice engraved stone next to the bridge:
The market itself is cute. One side is formed by a row of open fronted shops; the other side is a now of rickety-looking wooden stars covered by sheets of plastic.
The stands are occupied mostly by elderly women, although I saw one very old man selling apples aided by a young boy. Some of the stands were selling produce or flowers, but in many cases I couldn’t guess what the goods were. There were lots of things in vacuum-packed bags which may have been pickled vegetables. Most of the stands and some of the shops had samples ready in little bowls with chopsticks.
The shops sold various dried and pickled things and some tourist trinkets. there were lots of bags of dried fish, including very small minnows and shrimp.
Got a craving for dried, filleted squid? Takayama’s the place to get it. This was my favorite stand: spices sold by a woman who dozed off and on between passers-by:
On the way back to the hotel I passed several small shrines and a temple.
The temple had a row of statues decked out with fetching kerchiefs:
Note the thing hung from the post in the center. There were more of then attached to a small gate. To my delight, they turned out to be bundles of origami cubes, faded by the weather.
I returned to the hotel bearing familiar remedies in somewhat unfamiliar guises:
Soon I’ll venture forth to see a bit move of the town.