In late spring, my former boss Clare and her good friend Lil came to Japan, despite the radiation scare and fear of aftershocks. I set out from Tokyo to meet them in my favorite Japanese town, Takayama. I got my 30-different-kinds-of-food bento and rode the shinkansen.
First we headed to shirokawago to see the thatched roof houses.
The village is pretty high in the mountains, so even in late April there was still snow in the mountains...
...and patches of it on the ground.
We were able to witness the local townspeople rethatching one of the rooftops.
Some cherry blossoms were still in bloom and some rice had just been planted.
We also visited the Hida-takayama folk village, which was just a short cab ride from our hotel.
Clare makes a wish and rings the bell.
The museum has some very well preserved houses from ancient times. The smell of smoldering fires (used to ward off moisture and critters) pervades. It is so peaceful there.
Back in the main town of Takayama, we strolled the streets of dark wood shops looking for sake and fun gifts to bring back home.
Before we left, our taxicab driver took us on a whirlwind drive through the various temples and narrow streets of the city and along canals with lovely cherry blossoms in full bloom.