Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Takayama to Kanazawa

Here goes the second part of my latest Japan trip with JNTO Indonesia and Cathay Pacific Indonesia, a continuation of my previous post :)



Well, as we ended the previous night having Hida beef steak for dinner in Takayama, we had the chance to visit the beautiful old town of Takayama right after we had our breakfast on the next day. The old town itself has been beautifully preserved with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants.




Our first stop was Takayama Jinya, a beautiful traditional Japanese style building that used to serve as Takayama's government office during the Edo Period, when the city stood under direct control of the shogun. Although it was still snowing heavily, we made sure that we had a lot of fun, not only by strolling around taking many beautiful pictures, but also because of learning the history of Takayama, it's interesting.









Lunch was a simple but yummy Japanese style hot pot with vegetables and chicken in it, we had it after our free strolling time, just perfect for the weather.


So many lovely pictures taken by Hans, I know!!





Moving on, we headed to Kanazawa to experience their famous Hakuichi gold leaf wrapped ice cream. It's thick and creamy, it's milky, it's my style!! It's so damn good I swear.




Next stop: Kenroku-en Garden
Located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, it is an old private garden. Along with Kairaku-en and Koraku-en, Kenroku-en is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.


The snow had finally stopped when we reached the garden, it was just like meant to be, such a perfect time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kenroku-en Garden without the snow showers.



Not far from the garden, it's the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum was designed by Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the architectural office SANAA in 2004.




I'm not really a museum person and I don't really understand about contemporary art, but I enjoy taking pictures here and there ;)



We ended the day by having dinner near our hotel straight from the museum. It was a simple traditional Japanese menu, sushi & sashimi and it was good. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the food but you know Japan, everything's just so fine.

Stay tuned for more ;)

Saturday, 11 March 2017

From Nagoya to Shirakawa-go

It was still a few weeks ago, we had an oppotunity to visit Japan again, but this time along with JNTO Indonesia and Cathay Pacific. It was a brand new route for me though. I myself have been to Japan for a few times yet it was my first time to Nagoya and the rest of the city throughout our trip.

We first arrived in Nagoya, the capital of Japan's Aichi Prefecture and we went straight to the hotel. However, since it was quite late by the time we reached the hotel, we only had the chance to have dinner and walk around Nagoya station before we had some rest. The food was good though ;)



On the next day, we went to visit Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, learning about the history behind their big success. Toyota was actually started as a textile firm and evolved over decades into an international automobile producer. Here, we can see the process, bits and details of everything behind everything that Toyota now. From technological tools to machinery in spinning and weaving. Then from the past, present to the future of automobiles and its transitions. Yes, everything.














Lunch menu was Nagoya's specialty, Miso Nikomi Udon.
It was slightly bitter and thicke than a normal miso but still good nonetheless esp for the cold weather.





Move on, we continued our journey of the day to snowy Shirakawa-go! A very beautiful scenery can be seen along the way, traditional houses covered by the snow and beautiful shower of snow everywhere.
Shirakawa-go itself is one of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the Shogawa river valley stretching across the border of Gifu and Toyama Prefectures in central Japan.






Eventhough it was so cold and snowing hard, everything was just so beautiful and perfect in my eyes. Am also so thankful to have Hans and Sierin helped me taking so many beautiful pictures throughout the trip despite feeling uuuuuber cold.





We ended the day by having a very nice dinner at Best Western Hotel in Takayama: Hida Beef Steak! Although it was a bit too cooked for my liking, it was still as good ;)

GETTING THERE
Anyway, aside getting to Shirakawa-go and Takayama with a group tour, travelling individual is not as complicated as it seem. Here are some guides that may help :)

From Nagoya by Gifu Bus
Departing from Nagoya Station to Shirakawa-go by 9 AM and 
returning from Shirakawa-go by 3.35 PM
One way ticket fare: 3,600 yen per person
For more info: gifubus.co.jp

From Takayama by Nouhi Bus
Departing from Takayama Station
One way ticket fare: 2,400 yen per person
For more info: nouhibus.co.jp

From Kanazawa by Nouhi Bus
Departs three times daily and reservation is required.
One way ticket fare: 1,800 yen per person
For more info: nouhibus.co.jp

From Tokyo
There's no direct bus from Tokyo to Shirakawa-go, so you will need to go to Nagoya/Takayama/Kanazawa first. Be sure to have the JR pass or you'll spend a lot more on individual tickets later.

From Kyoto/Osaka
There's no direct bus from Kyoto or Osaka to Shirakawa-go as well, but you can take the JR train from Kyoto to Kanazawa and continue to Shirakawa-go by Nohi Bus like mentioned above.

JR Rail Passes
JR Takayama-Hokuriku tourist passes for 5 consecutive days pricing at 14,000 yen for adults and 6,750 yen for children
For more info: touristpass.jp