Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
109Trip End Mar 31, 2011
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From Matsumoto it was a scenic bus trip to Kamikochi, little more than a camp site and a few hotels in the middle of the national park. Here the scenery was superb and the autumn colours magnificent. We did a long climb to a mountain hut and back. There were lots of Japanese hikers wearing fantastic outdoor kit. All the manufacturers have special Japanese ranges in luminous colours and shiny finishes
From Kamikochi we went to Takayama, which still has lots of buildings from the 18th and 19th century. The area gets a lot of snow, and you can see from the picture the sloping thatched roof that is about 3 feet thick. Takayama is known for its beef, supposedly nearly as highly graded as Kobe's. It was terrific, so soft and almost creamy. It was served on a burner at the table for you to cook yourself, or at snack stalls in a delicious bun. It was also decidedly here, a few degrees above zero but also damp and windy. We discovered the joys of hot sake at dinner on the first evening and immediately regretted having spent a full week in Japan before trying it.