Continuing on from the previous posting as promised, in digital form. Hopefully you had the patience to read all those photographs :) I’m working hard to catch up here! Got a lot of writing to do to cover the last two weeks.
Well, the next day (Dec. 31st) we ate another great meal at the ryokan, but boy were we in for a surprise… upon checking out I could swear my eyes almost bugged out of my head. The price for the night was ３万円 (around $300 CAD)! Twice as much as I was quoted on the website. Well, there was not really much we could do so I grudgingly paid the fee, I suppose that’s what happens when you trust random ryokan listing websites. However, in retrospect I guess it was worth it. It’s not very often I get to splurge and stay at a really fancy ryokan and eat extremely fancy food (it really was quite a feast…). Anyhow, moving right along.
We tentatively left our luggage at the ryokan while going to explore the surrounding area. It was quite cold outside and the whole road on the hill was covered in ice, making walking around with my camera quite difficult and precarious. One interesting sight was the large population of street cats that seemed to be in the area. Many of them were sleeping on the hoods of recently parked cars for warmth. After about an hour of walking around in the cold while nothing was open, we finally headed to our destination: the Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village. It was a sort of museum filled with all sorts of classical teddy bears, including a really cool giant bear that was several times my size. Quite a neat place.
After the eco village, we picked up our belongings and decided to head in to Takayama city. Based on some arguably bad judgment I decided we should walk back to the train station instead of taking a bus or a taxi. Well, after several times of getting lost and heading in the wrong direction we finally made it there and placed our luggage in a locker. We purchased some tickets for a bus back to Nagoya and then headed around to explore that Takayama streets we had seen two days before. Well, seeing as it was New Years Eve, pretty much everything was closed and so it was quite difficult to find anywhere to eat. However, we managed to find a cafeteria that was open and serving somewhat edible food. During the time we managed to explore a lot of the “Old town” Takayama and see many interesting things…
After that, it was time to say goodbye to the countryside and head back to the big city of Nagoya where we grabbed some delicious pizza at the station before heading back “home” to Hamamatsu.
We spent New Years Eve at a hip-hop club called “Farenheit” in Hamamatsu. “WHAT?!” You say… well, let me explain…
A few days earlier Belinda had randomly run in to a drummer the laundromat who was apparently interested in meeting me when he heard that I was a musician as well, and was glad to find some people to speak English with. As a result we ended up getting invited to go this club for New Years. However, unfortunately we were pretty much broke from our trip, with only a few thousand yen at our collective disposal. BUT, when we emailed him from outside the club he was nice enough to get us in for free, assuming we bought a few drinks..
We hung out at the club for a while and listened to some live hip-hop performance.. (mostly old stuff, surprisingly.. but still, hip-hop.. ughhhh..) and the New Year kind of came in mostly uneventfully,
Well, this leaves me with just over two weeks of backlog to get through (damn my non-realtime blogging…) BUT, last week was mostly uneventful :) So, in my next post I will be covering the rest of my holiday where Belinda’s parents arrived in Japan and we all went on a week long tour.. YAY!