It was early morning because we had to take the bullet train, which requires a lot of organization because it hardly stays at the station for a minute and a little, and a lot of people have to enter. It was a short journey and the feeling is like being in a normal train, only a little faster.
Magome and Tsumago
After the bullet train ride, we got on the bus (many hours of bus, luckily our great guide entertained us talking about the geography of Japan, earthquakes and tsunamis, the Japanese school system…) and we headed to the feudal towns, ancient zones of passage of the samuráis that had obligation to go Kioto and to serve the shogun year yes, year no.
The first stop was Magome, a town with spectacular scenery and a long slope that we descended to where the bus was waiting for us.
Then we went to Tsumago, which is more authentic and where, in addition to visiting its most emblematic street, we could see an old annex to a Japanese inn (waki honjin Okuya). It was great because it’s preserved as such because, being an annex of the tavern and also dedicated to sake, they survived when the time of the samurai was over. Inside, they told us how they lived and many other things.
Shopping in Takayama
We had a fairly complete meal on the bus on the way to Takayama and, once there, we went shopping along a long street that had all sorts of things that caught our attention, including a shop dedicated entirely to rabbits. Miraculously, I found the wooden doll I wanted in a cheap and small version.
Also, since the yukatas were quite cheap, I decided to buy them there (a hat also fell) along with their obi, which was a success because then, when we went to dinner, it was obligatory to take it and we did not have to wear the hotel’s, That was pretty bland.
Experience in the Onsen, Japanese dinner and kabuki show
Before dinner, I enjoyed the onsen, the hotel’s wonderful hot spring jacuzzi. This is also an interesting experience because, in addition to having their ritual, which we followed, they bathe in public completely naked (in separate bathrooms, of course) and it’s a bit embarrassing at first, but then you relax and you are very well.
The Japanese dinner was quite a show; they had a little bit of everything, even some things like bamboo or miso soup that I had never tried but which I loved. Some foods were cooked directly on the plate. Also, the fact that everyone was dressed in yukatas gave it a very interesting atmosphere.
After dinner there was a wonderful surprise: at the hotel there was a Kabuki show, something that I always wanted to see but that was quite out of my budget. It was an amateur but very funny representation in which the actors talked about how great the region is and it was all very participative (they gave coins and papers to wrap and throw them to the actors, we had to shout at certain moments…). A very pleasant end for a great day!