A castle! Japan day 9

Takayama to Matsumoto

The second day of the festival was very similar to the first so we checked out some more of old town Takayama. We did part of the Higashiyama walking course and visited the markets again. We randomly saw a middle aged man in full lederhosen garb including amazing feather hat. Chris was so jelly. That was pretty random though.

The floats have homes where they lives the rest of the year. They only come out twice a year, during the spring and autumn festivals.

The floats were still in the streets and we stopped to take pictures with the cute kiddies.


On the way back, I picked up a jar of sakuna kabocha pudding. It comes in these adorable glass jars and you pour a sweet syrup on top before eating. Since i was taking mine to go, they gave me a tiny plastic spoon and tiny bottle of the syrup. They think of everything here!

My delicious pudding

Cute Shiba

Lots of Engrish around

We had some time before our bus ride so we looked for a place that was open for lunch. It was just after 11 and most places open at 11:30 or 12:00. Just before we were about to give up and just head to the bus terminal, we saw a man duck into a door, so we followed him. It turned out to be a cute mom and pop shop that let us in early before they opened. Chris and I split a delicious sukiyaki beef meal. It was sooooo good! While we were eating, the parade procession came by right outside the restaurant. When it got to the dragon (or lion?) part, they actually opened the door of the restaurant and did a dance for us. Amazing!

We took an express bus through the mountains to Matsumoto. We met a guy on the bus from the Netherlands and chatted a bunch. This was his 7th trip to Japan! He said that every time he visits, he explores a different part.

We arrived on Matsumoto in the afternoon and after checking in, headed straight for the castle of course.

The cherry blossoms in Matsumoto were at nearly full bloom and the castle looked magnificent. Chris squealed like an excited schoolgirl, as per usual. We toured inside the really sweet original 400 year old Japanese castle.

Matsumoto Castle

View from inside the castle

Waving from my castle window. nbd.

Cute bookstore wedged between two tall buildings

Then we caught a bus to a Koboyama Park, just 15 mins out of the city center. When we arrived, it was nearly dusk so we scrambled up the steep slopes to the top of Koboyama. The slopes were filled with 2,000 cherry blossom trees. It was surreal and amazing and so windy. It seemed like it was snowing cherry blossoms! Because it is spring, they also hang lanterns along the pathway through the park and it was really really gorgeous. As it was becoming dark, we took the path down from the park that was lit up with lanterns. Sugoi!

Koboyama Park

Koboyama Park

Matsumoto Castle at night

After catching the last bus back into town (phewf!), we went to a gaijin pub called Old Rock and had some hearty fish and chips, sausage and potatoes and Guinness. Behind the pub and upstairs was an amazing old bar called Coat.


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