Day 9: Takayama

It wasn’t raining much in the morning, so we made our way to the Miyagawa morning market, with a pitstop for coffee on route. Austin bought a Hida beef skewer, gohi mochi and milk, while I tried a Hida beef bun and a “marshmellow” square.

We then set off to follow the Higashiyama walking course, which goes through village streets and shrines along the outskirts of town, bordering the forest. It was a beautiful walk, but had to be called off after an hour or so as the rain ramped up.

Torrential rain set in just as we sat down to have lunch. We’ve been pretty lucky to avoid the rain so far, only having 1 rainy day in the middle of Japan’s rainy season!

It was so bad that it was documented on the local news that night for a solid 10 minutes, as the streets and rivers were overflowing and the Takayama Main train line had to stop running. The wider region had tornado storms, so we were fairly lucky to just have rain and thunderstorms! Here’s a low quality before & after shot of the river:

We stopped in at a tiny little place for dinner during a heavy thunderstorm & we had a pretty incredible experience. It was a tiny little place with a single table (maybe 8 meters squared) run by one man who made everything from local produce, including vegetables from his own farm. The brown rice was locally grown in Takayama and had won regional awards. We were there with a French couple and chatted for hours. He drew us calligraphy, took photos on his own camera, and shared some special sake with us all purely for braving the storm to visit. The meal was delicious – in his own words, it was all grown and cooked with a lot of heart. The menu was small & seasonal – I had a Japanese vegetable curry, whilst Austin opted for the Hida beef option. If you’re in Takayama for even only a few hours, you should absolutely visit Cafe Uemura if it’s one of the only things you do! Totally magical.

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