Date of Travel: 23/02/2012
We woke up to a cold morning in Ogimachi. It was partially my fault because we had turned the gasoline heater off the night before as I was getting a very bad headache from it. We started packing our bags before having breakfast with the other guests at Kanja Ryokan. After breakfast, we checked out of the ryokan and dropped our luggage off at the bus station. Once again, we split up to do last minute souvenir shopping and exploring. Brownie and J.C. headed south to the forests while I took a stroll around the village centre again. The weather wasn’t great as light rain had set in overnight, which enhanced the lonely feeling of the village compared to the day before. We regrouped at the train station shortly after and headed off to our final destination in Chubu; Takayama.
We arrived in Takayama around 11:45 am, and checked into our accommodation at J-Hoppers Takayama. As our room was not ready, we left our luggage and headed straight out to find some lunch. Luckily, we managed to find one near the Takayama JR station, which was where we wanted to go to after lunch anyway.
After lunch, we took a bus from Takayama JR station to the Hida Folk Village. This was similar to the other outdoor museums we visited in Hokkaido and Ogimachi. This time, the open-air museum featured dozens of traditional buildings from around the Takayama area. Many of these buildings are gassho-zukuri farmhouses, which are similar to those we saw back in Ogimachi. The exhibits were also similar to those we saw in Ogimachi, though more information/background were provided. The grounds were more spacious as well, and it felt like we were wandering around an abandoned village. As the museum was a lot larger than that of Ogimachi, and we ended up spending the whole afternoon there.
Hida Folk Village had a Winter Illumination event later on at night, and to kill time in between, we decided to climb the hill neighbouring the village which featured some castle ruins at its peak. It wasn’t an easy climb due to the thick layer of snow covering the grounds. As my foot was still injured from the day before, I did not follow Brownie and J.C. all the way up the hill and waited at the rest stop about two-thirds the way up. Brownie did take some good photos of the town from the peak thankfully.
We descended from the hill and explored Hida Folk Village again. The illumination definitely brought a different atmosphere. The tranquillity and peacefulness of the village seemed to be disrupted by the lights, but the increased liveliness made it interesting. While we were still able to enter the buildings, it was too dark to see around inside. Nonetheless, the exterior of the buildings were attractive enough.
While waiting for Brownie and J.C. to finish taking photos around the ground, I stopped by the rest area and picked up a warm can of red bean soup from the vending machine. It was the first time I had bought red bean soup from a vending machine, but it was delicious. It was nice having something warm after spending most of the afternoon in the cold. After the event, we hopped on a bus back to Takayama JR station and looked around for a place to have dinner. We were deciding between a grilled chicken joint and a ramen restaurant. Brownie and J.C. were keen for the chicken, though they did not realize it was “grill it yourself” (and I got told off by them for not mentioning this – how the heck would I know that they did not know it was such a place?). We headed back to our accommodation to formally check in to our room, and spent the rest of the nice resting and keeping warm.
Bus from Ogimachi to Takayama JR station – 2,400 yen
J-hoppers Takayama – 3,000 yen
Lunch – 900 yen [Katsudon]
Red bean warm drink – 100 yen
Dinner at Keichan-ya – 1,833 yen [chicken skin and self-cooked chicken]
Hida folk village – 1,200 yen [bus fares, daytime and illumination entrance fees]
N/A [Need to save money at times right?]
TOTAL (cost for whole trip in brackets)
9,433 yen (479,368 yen total)