Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #12: New Year's Holiday

Our New Year's Holiday in pictures...

1. First stop was Nagoya, where we saw the castle (but only from outside the walls unfortunately as it was closed for the year end)...2. ...and enjoyed the night view from our hotel.3. Then on to Ise to visit the Grand Shrine. It's the Head Shrine of all Shinto shrines in Japan! 4. There we bought our omamori (good luck charms) for the New Year... 5. ...and wandered around oharai-machi (the old town).6. Next we saw meoto-iwa (the wedded rocks). The wind off the water was very cold! Brrr!7. After a 3-day break visiting H's parents over the New Year, we took the train to Takayama, famous for it's well-preserved Edo-era san-machi (old town). It was also far enough into the mountains that I got to see my longed-for snow!8. There we also visited the Takayama Jinya (historical government office)...9. ... which was beautiful both inside and out.10. Last we visited Shirakawa-go. The 2 hours by bus to get there (and the 2 hours to get back) were long but so worth it!11. Shirakawa-go is famous for its gassho zukuri (old farmhouses) with steep thatched roofs, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 12. We were able to go inside two of the gassho-style houses, one was 120 years old, the other about 200 years old! No nails are used in the construction, everything is simply roped together! 13. Finally, I have to mention food at least once! Of course we ate other things too but we ate a lot of noodles during our week away. Hot noodles and cold weather really are a perfect combination!
Top Left: kishimen (flat udon noodles famous in Nagoya)
Top Right: Ise udon (fat udon noodles with a thick sauce you stir the noodles in before eating)
Bottom Left: soba (buckwheat noodles) with vegetable tempura
Bottom Right: Takayama ramenHope you enjoyed the quick virtual tour. We spent a fair bit of time travelling around but we really enjoyed visiting these traditional places neither of us had been to before. A nice start to the New Year!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

25 comments:

  1. Such great pictures. Makes me want to visit those places too.

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  2. Wow, that looks wonderful! I'd love to visit some day.

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  3. Looks like a wonderful trip..Beautiful pics

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  4. Wow. I'm very intrigued by thoses houses. And...love your blog header!

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  5. How beautiful! Looks like you had a wonderful holiday!!
    Happy Thursday!

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  6. these are gorgeous :-) no wonder you are tired with all you have seen and done !

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  7. Oooh, by far the best T13 this week! Ok, I'm a tad prejudiced...all those beautiful Japanese pictures :-) Love those thatched roof houses! #5 made me shiver.

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  8. Wonderful pictures....I have never travelled out of the USA.
    Looking to your last post you might like my T13 this week where I list 13 Fav Female Authors of mine:
    http://cafeendofuniverse.blogspot.com/2008/01/thursday-thirteen-15-female-authors.html

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  9. wow, beautiful pictures! thanks for posting them. especially love the noodles :)

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  10. Esp. love the photos of the old towns and the wedded rocks!

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  11. Japan certainly is beautiful! It looks like you had a wonderful time :)

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  12. Oh my, are these pictures beautiful! You don't actually go out onto the Wedded Rocks right? I want to go to Japan!

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  13. Gorgeous photos! You rang in the New Year surrounded by so much beauty.

    Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
    明けましておめでとうございます。

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  14. Thanks to all the TTers for stopping by and commenting!

    Joy- Thanks! I'd only seen those old farmhouses in pictures before so it was great to see them in person.

    Cath- It's been hard getting back into the routine of work and everything this week but it was a very nice holiday this year.

    Janet- LOL! Thanks! :)

    Gentle Reader- Glad you enjoyed the noodles! :P

    Teresa- We enjoyed the old towns too. I definitely seem to prefer traditional Japan. Apparently summer is the best season to see the wedded rocks. Then the sun rises between them. We saw pictures of it and it's quite splendid!

    Nymeth- It's not all beautiful but we do like to search out the nice spots. :)

    Iliana- No, you view the rocks from a walkway on the shore. When shall we expect you? ;)

    ideru- Thanks. Have you been to these places? We were both glad to finally see them for ourselves.

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  15. Great photos. I'd love to see Japan.

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  16. Ooooo.... I love #7, the Takayama old town, with the glowing windows and the bits of snow. Just beautiful. :)

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  17. The wedded rocks are amazing! That's it, I'm packing my bags. Have you got an extra room? :)

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  18. Mm...I love Japanese noodle bowls, of all varieties. It was about all I could afford to eat while we were there.

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  19. Fabulous pictures. I love the ones with the snow covered trees and buildings. Go figure, as I do not like winter! There's just something very serene about those particular shots.

    Yummy looking noodles!! Hmm, I should look at some asian cookbooks and try a few noodle soups like these. Reminds me of Wagamama in London.

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  20. Your photos make me wish I could be there now. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  21. Wow. Didn't know the craphole I call home had so much to offer!

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  22. Donna- Thanks. It was such a nice mood with the lights and the snow. :)

    Kookie- We don't have an extra room but we do have a comfy sofa bed. :)

    Nyssaneala- We love noodles and you're right they really are quite reasonable.

    Les- LOL! You like snow from afar, you just don't like to be in it! I think that's what I like about snow though, it always gives me that peaceful, serene feeling.
    We used to go to Wagamama sometimes when we lived in London. Their stuff was Asian fusion and not strictly Japanese but it was still good. Hmm, I'm starting to want some more noodles! ;)

    Literary Feline- I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

    Brit- Ise was only about 1.5 hrs by train from Nagoya and Takayama was 2.5 hours. You should definitely go!

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  23. Wow. That was awesome. Everything looks so beautiful! Now, I want to visit Japan more than ever. The Snow Festival looks fantastic, and the food looks pretty darned good too!

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  24. Thanks Bookie! I'm so glad we had a chance to go. We had a really good time. :)

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