Day 2 (2018-12-30) : Kyoto – Takayama
Our second day of the journey began in Kyoto (see the story on our first day JAPAN YEAR-END GETAWAY : HIMEJI CASTLE & KOBE). There are plenty things to see here in Kyoto. The place is full of atmospheric temples and sublime traditions. Every corner is worth a visit. That is why we chose to stay here even for a very short period of time before heading off to Gifu.
With the time limit we hence couldn’t dare swooping far. Sticking around just Kyoto station would be a good idea as we didn’t want to miss the Shinkansen seats we reserved at noon. While I was dragging my index along on google map in order to find some fine teahouses or coffee places to kill time, a spacious green field situated a little up north from the station suddenly caught my eyes. The place was pinned ‘Higashihonganji’. I swiftly googled and oh yehh this is it! The place I am going to dedicate my hours to.
It took us only 15 minutes tops on foot from Kyoto station to the temple. Yes, Higashi Hongan-ji is a temple. Its name is literally translated into ‘the Eastern (higashi) Temple of the Original Vow’ which implies that there might be one in the west too. It is one of two dominant sub-sects of Shin Buddhism as the other one is Nishi (west) Honganji (or the Western Temple of the Original Vow), according to Wikipedia.
Once I stepped inside the temple area, I got a feeling that this stunning place is a bit overlooked (or at least I had). There were just very few people stopping at the temple that is such real grand complex. Its Goei hall is considered the largest wooden building in Kyoto, and one of the largest in the world. I would have to say that I am so glad I found Higashi Hongan-ji Temple even by accident, my morning, therefore, was absolutely well spent.
Nearly three hours later, we were about to arrive at Takayama station. My mind was captivated by the most mesmerizing scenery outside the Hida train’s window. It was snowing and the whole town was blanketed in white.
Sun light is casted out real fast in this cold season. I still couldn’t help myself capturing the moment in spite of the darkness and cold.
Realizing that you are in a very place that is known to have the very best reputation for high-quality domestic wagyu beef, it would be such a pity to miss trying Takayama’s prized Hida beef.
We were strolling along the old town. It’s because of the year-end holiday again the place so was quieter than it already was. Few cars on the road. And definitely no local restaurants ran the businesses at the time like this. Our hope was almost volatile. But then there were doors opened at Takumiya. The Yakiniku (Japanese style of barbecue) aroma curling up from the grill made me uncontrollably drool. Without hesitation, we hovered in!
Takumiya review from Tabelog : https://s.tabelog.com/en/gifu/A2104/A210401/21006540/
Our day couldn’t be more perfectly finished without relaxing ourselves at one of the most talked-about accommodations nearby Takayama station, Ouan. Thanks to the 60percent off offered from Agoda so we could close up our impeccable evening here in Gifu.
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