Thursday, October 13, 2011

Japan (Jul11) Day 6: Takayama & Shirakawa-go (Part 3)

Other entries for this day: Part 1 / Part 2

 I tried to be smart and opted to walk up the hill to the viewing platform instead of walking back to the bus drop-off point to take the shuttle bus.  This kind & helpful Japanese elderly couple (I'm guessing they are in their 60s?) offered to walk us up since they are also heading there as well.  Halfway up the hill, they asked a local for directions and they were told that there's a shortcut up.  And so we continued to follow them....and up the slopes into the forest we climbed.  Along the way while climbing up the steep & slippery mountainous tracks I was wondering to myself.  If I should fall, how would I best protect my D700 + 24-70 lens?  

All the while when I was panting away, taking a breather every 5 steps or so, the elderly Japanese couple were steadily climbing up the slopes leading the way as if it was a piece of cake for them. It was sooo embarrassing.  Both of us are half of their age and yet we were lagging so far behind them that the kind lady had to stand and wait for us to ensure that we are still following them.

After a 15mins climb into the forest, and we were finally out and arrived at our destination, the viewing platform.  I was still trying to catch my breath when I arrived at the platform whilst the elderly couple was busy taking pics like it's no sweat for them (which is actually a fact).
The very fit Japanese couple.

This was just the beginning few steps for the climb up.  Didn't take much pics along the way since I was too busy trying to watch my steps and protecting the camera from branches, leaves, mud...etc...
Just a small section of the steep climb.  At this point in time, we can still see them in front of us.  3mins after I took this pic, they were so far in front of us that we lost sight of them.

Lost sight of them.  I can't even see the path.  

And we are finally out!!

The viewing platform

This time, we decided to take the shuttle bus down the hill instead.  200yen, no prob.  wait 20mins for the bus, yes I can wait.  No more trekking thru the forest for me.  

close up of the roof

fishes in the drain

Looking up underneath the edge of the roof


walking back to the bus pickup point.

friendly bus driver

50mins later and we arrived back at Takayama.
The shop where we had our lunch.
The thing about Takayama is that almost 70% of the restaurants/food outlets we came across are specialized with selling only Hida beef food products (Beef donburi, Beef noodles, Grilled get the picture).  I have never eaten beef in my entire life and my 1st time having beef was the night before over dinner at the hotel.  Hida beef is very nice, but both of us are not beef lovers so since our dinner at the hotel for both nights definitely consists of beef, so we wanted to eat something other than beef for lunch.

So when I found this little shop (directly opposite Takayama train station) that sells Katsudon & Katsu Curry, we decided to eat here.   

 After lunch, we decided to head back to the hotel to rest since the past few days have been pretty hectic.  Hubby went for onsen (hotspring) whilst I stayed in the room watching TV.  I think the group AKB48 is the hottest group right now since I see them on so many channels (gameshow, concert performances, commercials..etc) when I was flipping thru the channels.  

 Dinner on this day was....Hida beef.  Instead of hotplate, it's shabu-shabu today.

 Around 11pm plus, we saw notifications on the TV that there had been an earthquake and many parts of Japan had felt the shock.  Nagoya felt it, Nagano felt it...and I was bracing for it since judging from the direction, we should feel it next.  But I didn't feel anything.  phew...  

Other entries for this day: Part 1 / Part 2