Apr 04: A Morning Stroll in Takayama

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:

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Here are a few photos of storefronts and other things on the way to the market:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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On the way back to the hotel I passed several small shrines and a temple.

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The temple had a row of statues decked out with fetching kerchiefs:

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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.

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I returned to the hotel bearing familiar remedies in somewhat unfamiliar guises:

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Soon I’ll venture forth to see a bit move of the town.

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