Hello again! I have been home from Japan a week already but somehow have not gotten around to showing what happened after Kyoto. So we left Kyoto, a city with a population close to 1,5 million and headed for Takayama, a city up in the mountains with a population around one hundred thousand. It is best known for it's inhabitants' expertise in carpentry (we saw a lot of that) and the name Takayama translates as "tall mountain".
It was a two hour train ride from Kyoto, and the train that we took had panoramic windows (!). The view of the mountains that were colored pink and red and orange from the cherrytrees and the emerald green rivers (looked completely phoshoped!) were really like a spread from national geographic (maybe even painted by Monet). Wow.
We had a view over the mountains from our hotel window. It was a lot colder in Takayama and the second day that we woke up all the rooftops were covered with snow!
These small canals ran everywhere through the city, between houses and along the streets, leading the water (from melting snow) coming down the mountains. That was perhaps the most characteristic feature, the sound of water purling everywhere. I said that if I had been a kid in this town I would have made a fleet of bark boats and dropped them in one of these mini-rivers and then followed them through the entire city.
We stayed in Takayama for four days and the last day we took a bus up in the mountains to visit this old village from the 1700s.
In the pond were these really beautiful carps that had very intricate patterns of blue and white and pink and orange, almost like they were dressed in expensive kimonos. But I only got a photo of this guy, who looks like any old gammelgädda (old pike?) dressed in his worn out winter coat.
I love these old paper-windows. Apparently one of the reasons that they used paper instead of glass was that the glass would break in the event of an earthquake.
I like them so much because the outside light and shadows make the paper look like the surface of the moon.
And the following morning we took the panoramic train back to Tokyo!