DAY 5 (5/5): HIGASHIYAMA WALKING COURSE (東山遊歩道), Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山), Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県), Japan, 2018.05.29
In Kyoto, Higashiyama (東山) is a famous historical district of temples, shrines, pagodas, and old streets. In Takayama, Higashiyama Walking Course (東山遊歩道) that ventures into the quiet side of the city, the Teramachi Temple Area. The 3.5km trail meander through a dozen or so temples and shrines in about 1.5 hour of walking, and does offer a Kyoto-like experience of temple hopping in the eastern side of the Takayama. The Higashiyama Walking Course provides a great alternative from the crowded scenes of Sanmachi Suji District.
After touring the touristy Sanmachi Suji, we turned to the calmer side of Takayama. Following Google Map, we found our way up to Shiroyama Park (城山公園), the lush green hill southeast of the historical district of Takayama.
Apart from lush green mature trees, the Shiroyama Park (城山公園) also contains the ruins of the former Takayama Castle (高山城).
As the castle of the former governor of the Hida Province, Takayama castle was in use from 1588 to 1695.
On our way down to the Teramachi Temple Area, we passed by a stone stele depicting the Three wise monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
We passed by Dairyuji Temple (大隆寺) and its cemetery, continuing to walk downhill.
We left Shiroyama Park via Dairyuji Temple, crossed a canal and entered a quiet residential neighborhood dotted with temples and shrine. The first temple we passed by was the torii gate and stair that led up to the Nishikiyama Shrine (錦山神社).
We continued the Higashiyama Walking Course and reached the next temple: Soyuji Temple (宗猷寺). Located in the southernmost area of Teramachi Temple Area, the Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect was built in 1632.
We walked over to Zennoji Temple (善応寺) a family temple of the lord of Matsukura castle.
We were then attracted by the flower blossoms, trees and shrubs around a dry garden of Hokkeji Temple (法華寺).
The beautiful wooden structures of Hokkeji Temple (法華寺) are the only Buddhist temple of the Nichiren sect in Hida.
It was already quite late when we arrived at Hokkeji Temple (法華寺). We had both the temple and the popular stone bridge all by ourselves. Although small in scale, the pond and stone bridge at the forecourt evoked a strong sense of nostalgic charm .
Sogenji Temple (素玄寺) is a Soto Zen sect stood next in line in our tour of the Higashiyama Walking Course.
The main hall of Sogenji was relocated here from the ruins of Takayama Castle.
Opposite to Sogenji stood Daiouji Temple (東林山大雄寺). We were particularly drawn to a small shrine with stone statues and a vivid picture of Hell.
Towards the end of our tour of the Higashiyama Walking Course, we reached another tranquil temple complex, the Unryuji Temple (雲龍寺) (many visitors would consider this temple the beginning of the walk).
The gate tower of Unryuji was relocated from the Kouun Pavilion of Takayama Castle. Through the gate, we could see a tranquil residence district down below.
After wandering around the Unryuji Temple, it was time for us to head back to the city centre for dinner. We walked passed a small cemetery near Unryuji and turned left down to the Edogawa River.
We wandered in the small alleyways near Edogawa River, trying to zigzag ourselves back to the touristy city centre.
It was lovely to walk along the river. We followed the water for a while, slowly admiring the traditional houses under the late afternoon sunlight. It did feel like walking in some old neighborhood of Kyoto.
* * *
CHUBU (中部地方) 2018, Japan, 2018.05.25 – 06.03
Day 1: Tokyo (東京)
1.1 TSUKIJI OUTER MARKET (築地場外市場)
1.2 TSUKIJI INNER MARKET (築地中央卸売市場)
1.3 MORI ART MUSEUM (森美術館), 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT & CAFE KITSUNE
Day 2: Matsumoto (松本)& Kamikochi (上高地)
2.1 MATSUMOTO CASTLE (松本城), Matsumoto (松本)
2.2 “ALL ABOUT MY LOVE”, Yayoi Kusama’s Exhibition at Matsumoto City Museum of Art (松本市美術館), Matsumoto (松本)
2.3 MATSUMOTO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (まつもと市民芸術館), Matsumoto (松本)
2.4 FROM MATSUMOTO (松本) TO KAMIKOCHI (上高地)
2.5 ARRIVAL IN KAMIKOCHI (上高地), Chūbu-Sangaku National Park (中部山岳国立公園)
Day 3: Kamikochi (上高地)
3.1 MORNING WALK IN KAMIKOCHI (上高地), Nagano Prefecture (長野県)
3.2 DAKESAWA HIKE (岳沢), Kamikochi (上高地)
Day 4: Kamikochi (上高地) & Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉)
4.1 TAISHO POND (大正池), Kamikochi (上高地)
4.2 RETREAT IN THE JAPANESE ALPS, Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉)
4.3 MOMENTS OF ESCAPE, Tsuruya Ryokan (つるや旅館), Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉)
Day 5: Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)
5.1 CITY IN THE MOUNTAINS, Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)
5.2 HIDA BEEF (飛騨牛), Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)
5.3 SAKE (日本酒) BREWERIES, Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)
5.4 YOSHIJIMA HOUSE (吉島家住宅), Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)
5.5 HIGASHIYAMA WALKING COURSE (東山遊歩道), Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山)
Day 6: Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山), Shirakawa-go (白川郷) & Ainokura (相倉)
6.1 MIYAGAWA MORNING MARKET (宮川朝市), Hida-Takayama (飛騨高山), Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県)
6.2 OGIMACHI IN THE RAIN, Shirakawa-go (白川郷), Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県)
6.3 SOBA, TEMPLE & LOOKOUT, Shirakawa-go (白川郷)
6.4 RAINY AFTERNOON IN AINOKURA (相倉), Gokayama (五箇山)
6.5 GASSHO MINSHUKU, FLOWER BEDS & RICE PADDY FIELDS, Ainokura (相倉), Gokayama (五箇山)
6.6 CROAKING FROGS AND MOONLIGHT REFLECTIONS, Gokayama (五箇山)
Day 7: Kanazawa (金沢)
7.1 DEPARTURE IN THE RAIN, Ainokura (相倉) to Kanazawa (金沢)
7.2 A SEAFOOD PARADISE – OMICHO MARKET (近江町市場)
7.3 D T Suzuki Museum (鈴木大拙館)
7.4 Kenroku-en Garden (兼六園)
7.5 Oyama Shrine (尾山神社) and Nagamachi Samurai District (長町)
7.6 Nomura Samurai House (武家屋敷跡 野村家), Nagamachi Samurai District (長町)
7.7 Sushi Ippei (一平鮨), Katamachi (片町)
Day 8: Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture (金沢, 石川県)
8.1 Iki Iki Tei (いきいき亭) and Higashide Coffee (東出珈琲店), Omicho Market (近江町市場)
8.2 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (21世紀美術館)
8.3 Kazuemachi District (主計町茶屋街)
8.4 Higashi Chaya District (東山ひがし茶屋街)
8.5 Kaga Yuzen Toro Nagashi (加賀友禅燈ろう流し), Asano River (浅野川)
8.6 AFTERMATH OF KAGA YUZEN TORO NAGASHI (加賀友禅燈ろう流し)
Day 9 & 10: Tokyo (東京)
9.1 Marunouchi (丸の内) & Nihonbashi (日本橋)
10.1 OEDO ANTIQUE MARKET (大江戸骨董市), Tokyo Forum (東京国際フォーラム)
10.2 FARMER’S MARKET, United Nations University (東京国連大学), Aoyama (青山)