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Mercantile Takayama

Central commercial complex

From the summit of the alpine pass beside the Skyline Turnpike and the Japanese 'Matterhorn" Yagi, we wove down again to Takayama, which is a classic Japanese town with a beautiful old quarter full of temples shrines and old wooden houses, famous for its carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and on many of the temples in Kyoto and Nara. The town and its culture, as they exist today, took shape at the end of the 16th century, when the Kanamori clan built Takayama Castle.

At first we wandered the hillside Teramachi temple district, which you can see in the next posting.

After a lot of deliberation in various car parks on the edge of the old temple quarter, and dinner in the castle park, we decided to go and sleep at the cemetery by the crematorium, just out of town in a valley in the hills.

The night was full of rain and the morning misty and drizzly and as we took off back to the castle park to have breakfast, there was a strange pinging sound from the wind screen wipers. When I got to the park I realized the unusual sized lens hood for the camera, which I had trawled Auckland second-hand shops to find, was missing and realized I had left it on the front windscreen. After driving back to the graveyard and then to each of the parking lots, Christine suddenly saw it on the road, severely dented but rescuable.

We spent the morning exploring Takayama-jinya, some of the historic buildings, the old merchant houses of the Sanmachi district of Takayama for a second time and then headed for Furukawa.

Traditional commercial buildings in Takayama

Old commercial chambers

and their enclosed garden courtyards

Views of traditional commercial houses in the Sanmachi district

Sake breweries are advertised by the ball of cedar fronds

Some of the classy wares in the shops

Takayama is a favourite for artists

Miya-gawa river and its scarlet bridge

Takayama Jinya used a government offices and as a temple

The shrine opposite the Jinya

Morning markets outside the jinya

Suburban streets

A walk along the residential areas following the Enako-gawa water course

A working lift pump

Pictures of the Sanmachi district deserted in the early morning

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