We have arrived in Takayama and have checked in to our hotel (a Best Western, which doesn’t make much sense for a hotel in Japan but it is very nice). We took the bullet train, or shinkansen as it’s called in Japanese, from Tokyo to Nagoya. The shinkansen was fast and fairly smooth, the seats were comfortable, and there was more than enough leg room even for gaijin-sized legs. We changed to a smaller train in Nagoya which brought us to Takayama. Both train rides were about two hours long. I dozed a little on the first one and gazed out the windows. The second leg of the trip was particularly enjoyable. The train climbed into wooded mountains, following a river in a sometimes spectacularly rocky gorge. The rain that started in Nagoya turned to snow briefly, but it seems to be sunny now.
I’ll post some pictures shortly but I haven’t even unloaded my camera card yet because I wanted to dash off a quick “we’re here” post. The hotel has free wi-fi access (w00t!) so if I find the time I’ll also post pictures from our first day.