We headed out early from our hotel to visit the Ohmicho Market before boarding our train to Takayama. The market contains tons of seafood, urchins,oysters,snails, crab some selling for as much as $230.00 each.

We take the train through beautiful terraced hillsides – everyone is gardening. The mountains are gorgeous – snow covered. It looks a lot like our view of the Olympic Mountains near Port Angeles. We travel through many long tunnels, snow sheds and cherry blossom trees,as well as follow the green winding river on our way to Takayama.

Arriving in Takayama, we drop off our luggage at the train station, then start on our orientation tour of the Old Town district, as well as Shorenji temple. After visiting the nicest group of cherry blossom trees, we stop at a sake distillery for a tasting before heading for a group meal of Hida beef. Back to the hotel to do some more sake tasting while practicing origami (cranes) for Hiroshima.

The place we are staying is a minshuku (Minshuku Iwaksken) or a traditional Japanese inn,  which is not as fancy as a ryokan. It has polished floors, sliding screens, tatami mats, shared bathrooms and futon sleeping mats, but it’s cold with no central heat.

The showers also are communal. One showers with a cloth and a wash pan thoroughly before entering the hot pool,then  you place your wash cloth on your head.  Once done, you shower one last time before drying off and putting on your yukata.

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