A small drizzle moved this morning Takayama, but nothing that could distract us from the promenade of Higashiyama. It is a beautiful course which connects the temples which are backed by the mountains. Throughout the course, we had a great view of the city. Some temples are grouped, others are accessible after crossing a residential area of small houses. We went through the roads bordering the gardens, rivers, before leading into the forest. Perhaps is it the rain that chased tourists but we were almost alone on the entire ride: we had to cross a half-dozen walkers like us.
Yet the organization of the walk is very well done: plans are available in town, with all the possible routes. Numerous panels mark the course. Plans are also provided along the way, with this whole Japanese specificity that the North is not necessarily the top. Getting lost is impossible, to the chagrin of Xim, who complains that there is no challenge, no adrenaline rush. Personally, lack of adrenaline suits me perfectly …
At the junction between the road and the city, we found the usual bus full of tourist. I have a theory on this: the bus arrives, people take two or three hours, the time to go around the old city, eat same mochi skewer and buy three souvenirs, and then they leave by the same bus. As organized tours are designed in Europe and elsewhere. What I do not understand is why the principle bother me that much.
The old town of Takayama, known as Little Kyoto, is quite charming, even in the rain. The wooden houses, only one floor, are bordered by a small stream, on both sides of the street. Beware the awkward that would make a misstep. Many people decorate the fronts of houses with bonsai (there have been many bonsai breaks, and complicated arguments on the available space in the bag, the weight exceeding the baggage, etc.).
The rain making stronger, we found refuge in a cafe, a very special place that combines aspects of traditional Japan, with low tables on tatami mats, traditional decoration and a modern ambiance with jazz music, the macha-latte, the free WiFi and bionic toilet. The place is very comfortable and welcoming; rates are prohibitive (but we only live once and we are on vacation).
It was a happy experience of a town in the rain, which has given us a little serenity and tranquility.