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!
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