Japan Fam Tour
June 5-11, 2005

June 9 Takayama

In the morning when I got up and looked out my window I caught the morning sun shining on a golden roof of a temple a long way away...after breakfast we went to the Miyagawa Morning Market. A wonderful little market full of ladies selling their items. After the market we walked across the street to the Heritage Houses on Old Street. This is an area steeped in history as the Samurai used to live here. Now it is full of little shops that have everything from trinkets to teas to soup to sake. The people of Japan love their plants and there were many everywhere we went. We then went to the Hida Folk Village and from this place, the temple I had taken a picture of earlier in the morning was much closer now. Those canisters you see with the rope wound around them are canisters to hold fireworks in. The Hida Folk Village had a pond in front of it that reflected the scenery around it. Some photos of the village houses including a bathroom with a urinal there...with a note I might add, not to use it! The thatching of the roofs was very interesting and complicated. I really enjoyed walking around and thinking about what it must have felt like to live at this time. Everything there was used for some purpose. They even had gardens and rice paddies. Then if off to lunch. Do you see the bento box with the three cherries in it? Fruit is very expensive in Japan. One of the ladies on tour said she was at a store and saw apples for 5.00 CDN each and bananas at 3.00 each.

The next pictures are those of the Takayama Matsuri Museum - this was really impressive! Inside a climate controlled dome in the mountain you will find 19 floats for their festival, golden lacquered folding screens and the biggest drum in the world ... as well as the biggest portable shrine in Japan. While we were there some of the floats operated so you could see parts of them working and hear them as well. The little ones in the cases are meant to be carried and the larger ones are all on wheels ... magnificent pieces of artwork.

Late afternoon we headed back towards Tokyo and the Sunshine City Prince Hotel. This was perfectly situated for us because there was a huge shopping mall attached to the hotel along with the Sunshine City 60 story tall office building. Our dinner this evening was in the busy and brightly lit nightspot where people were everywhere, shopping and eating. On June 10th we were given a whole day to relax and explore on our own. The mall was something else, full of stores so I checked out the shops that had kimono outfits to find out they are very expensive. By the time a lady gets dressed in her full kimono, it runs into thousands of dollars. Still a very feminine look but I hear a challenge to wear as it takes two to dress and the shoes are not that comfortable to wear. I also tried something that I had been told to try, a teriyaki hamburger from McDonalds. It was delicious I might add and so were the french fries, because I was getting a bit testy for something other than Japanese food. I had my fix and I was happy.

It was a very eye opening fast trip ... I know there are some wonderful gardens here, the country is beautiful and so are the people ... always smiling and very respectful. A very special thank you to Christina from Silk Holidays for leading our group ... and for Sebastian for taking such good care of us while there ... I know we all had a great time and I know I will be back. The more I travel the more I realize what a small world we live in and most importantly, how much beauty there is out there to be discovered.

I walked around the hotel area and saw the last picture in a small garden...children with wonder and I think that is what I am ... I always wonder where gardens are that I just must see! Sayonara until next time...





  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row