Rainy evening in Takayama - Waku Waku

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Rainy evening in Takayama

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Rainy evening in Takayama

Takayama is a city located in the North of Gifu, occupying the largest area out of all cities in Japan. With its ancient grace resembling a "Miniature Kyoto", traditional dishes and the famous Hida beef, this is the place attracting most visitors to Gifu.

Chivas Regal

Chivas Regal

Published on 18 Feb, 12:00

I came to Takayama on a rainy day, but in no way was it disappointing or inconvenient. Takayama shines in its own way on rainy days.

On a morning with a gentle drizzle and frigid wind that reddened everyone's cheeks as it swept by, I got on the earliest train in the day from Gero station to Takayama station.

The train ticket from Gero to Takayama, departing from 6:24AM to 7:30AM
The train ticket from Gero to Takayama, departing from 6:24AM to 7:30AM

I went to a convenience store for a light breakfast in Takayama, and then my journey to explore Takayama began with the first stop being the Miyagawa morning market.

The market opens from 8 am to 12 pm. Here, farmers can sell the crops that they grew themselves.

Outside the Miyagawa marketplace (10-minute walk from Takayama station)
Outside the Miyagawa marketplace (10-minute walk from Takayama station)
To the left of the marketplace are vendors selling products such as apples, grapes, oranges, red chilies, vegetables
To the left of the marketplace are vendors selling products such as apples, grapes, oranges, red chilies, vegetables

In the cold, the sellers leisurely read the newspaper while selling their products, at times silently admired the streets in the break of day. Men and nature together created a poetic scene.

A grape vendor
A grape vendor

On the right side of the market are souvenir shops, high-end and "industrialized" shops, suitable for tourists to buy gifts for family and friends.

I happened to find a Takoyaki shop on the roadside. On such a chilly day, this was truly a blessing!

The roadside Takoyaki shop (By the way, the Takoyaki here was not stuffed with the traditional octopus, but rather with Hida beef)
The roadside Takoyaki shop (By the way, the Takoyaki here was not stuffed with the traditional octopus, but rather with Hida beef)

I ordered 1 set of 8 Takoyaki balls to warm myself, but the Takoyaki balls seemed to lose their heat quite quickly, perhaps due to the cold weather? So I didn't feel the need to blow on the piping hot Takoyaki balls as usual.

Set of 8 Takoyaki balls (950¥)
Set of 8 Takoyaki balls (950¥)

Gifting myself a large bag of 7, 8 apples at a great value of 400¥ and a warm welcome from the seller, I left the marketplace in high spirit.

The next stop was obviously the Sanmachi Suji (Takayama's Old Town). Who would ever visit Takayama and not come to see this town with such a unique touch of ancient Japan?

Takayama's old town - Lanes of tightly spaced wooden houses in traditional architecture, as if bringing us back to the old Japan: Rustic, nostalgic, and solemn
Takayama's old town - Lanes of tightly spaced wooden houses in traditional architecture, as if bringing us back to the old Japan: Rustic, nostalgic, and solemn

If you are visiting Takayama and not having the Hida beef, it would be the same as visiting Hanoi and not trying out their signature "pho" (Vietnamese noodle soup). And the gourmet in me just wouldn't allow that to happen.

At around 9 am after visiting the old town, I found a shop named Jyugemu.

Jyugemu - a famous Hida beef skewer shop
Jyugemu - a famous Hida beef skewer shop

The shop owner here is responsible for making the dishes for customers, but the "assistant" that takes the orders is actually a vending machine.

The food-selling vending machine
The food-selling vending machine

The beef skewers came at 4 price points, from lowest to hightest: Akami (lean meat) 300¥, Momoniku (thigh meat) 500¥ , Rosu (meat from the shoulder to ribs) 800¥ and Suteki (steak) 1500¥. The higher the price, the more high-quality the meat. The juicy meat with evenly laid veins of fat is not only to fill one's stomach, but to be savor and relish in wholeheartedly.

After I placed my order

My order ticket for 1 Momoniku skewer and 1 cup of nama biru (draft beer)
My order ticket for 1 Momoniku skewer and 1 cup of nama biru (draft beer)

it was time for me to immerse in this "Takayama-like" taste

Beef skewer and draft beer
Beef skewer and draft beer

If I continued to sing praises about this dish then the title of this article would need to be changed to "Jyugemu beef skewer". Although I missed the taste, my journey was not at its end, and I had the same mentality for all the cuisines I enjoyed,

Savouring once for a lifetime's memory instead of eating forever and then not remember even once.

The next stop? After a savoury dish, I wanted something sweet to balance out and then got attracted by the fish-shaped cake bakery nearby.

Set of 15 mini fish-shaped cake with 4 flavors: red bean, sausage, custard and chocolate at 800¥
Set of 15 mini fish-shaped cake with 4 flavors: red bean, sausage, custard and chocolate at 800¥

I ordered a set of hot mini fish-shaped cake and a cup of latte, creamy with a touch of bitterness. There was no better combination, especially on a chilly rainy day.

Moreover, the bakery had a diverse drink menu

Menu with ice cream and fruits
Menu with ice cream and fruits
And even tea and coffee
And even tea and coffee

Unfortunately, my sweet-craving mind seemed to have forgotten to note the name of this interesting bakery. But if you walk along the street, near the Jyugemu skewer shop, then I'm sure you can find the bakery.

Perhaps you can even find a more interesting and special bakery? Sometimes no guidance can be the best guidance after all.

(To be continued)

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Chivas Regal

Chivas Regal

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