Takayama is a small town north of Nagoya. It’s pretty small, but it’s known for it’s streets, which have been kept pristine in the traditional format of a Japanese neighborhood.

The streets of Takayama.

All of the electrical cables are buried and the facades of the buildings remain unchanged, so if you get there early in the morning, you can imagine how a traditional Japanese town looked. It’s pretty amazing to go there early in the morning when it’s quiet. It’s pretty special.

We were only in Takayama for one day on our way to Shirakawago. We got there late in the day and looked around the town. We went into an old house that belonged to a doctor/ninja (yeah, seriously). His house had been maintained as it had been. It had all kinds of interesting things in it and we even saw how the ceiling had been made to collapse if intruders broke into the building.

This room had cases holding the former owner's swords from being a ninja. It also had cases that held his syringes, needles for stitching, and glasses for his medical work.

A Narwhal tusk. I could help but think about that scene in "Elf" where the Narwhal says bye to Buddy...

This map was over 200 years old.

While Zach, Mari, and Zach’s mom headed to a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn), George and I hiked around the town to check out some castle ruins. The castle was one of the main founding areas of the city a looooong time ago, so there wasn’t much left, but it was fun to imagine what it would have been like.

The castle ruins. This was pretty much all that was left, but they had a map that had a drawing of what it looked like.

The castle ruins were pretty cool. We had to hike up a huge hill. There was only a basic foundation left and a plaque that showed an artist’s rendition of the castle. It was pretty impressive.

After that, we heard about a place that had really excellent hamburgers. I hadn’t had a hamburger since I moved here so I was super ready to go check this place out. The burgers were delicious.

Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, an egg, Avacado, Cheese, Mustard, Ketchup, Mayo. OMG.

We got 1 to split and it was so good we got another one. Also, it was super hot. I was sweaty. My bad.

It was approximately $15 USD for a hamburger, but we each got one.

That night we got a beer at a bar a few blocks away from the hostel and we went to bed early to catch the bus in the morning to Shirakawago.

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