After the rush of Tokyo, our next stop in Japan was the historic mountain town of Takayama. After exploring Higashiyama-teramachi, we took a tour to Shirakawa-go, a historic rural community in a deep valley between the mountains surrounding Takayama. We also got plenty of rest in one of the most comfortable hostels we stayed in all year!

Tourists explore old town Takayama.

Tourists explore old town Takayama.

Old town Takayama.

Old town Takayama.

Old town Takayama, Japan

Old town Takayama, Japan

Exploring Takayama, Japan

Exploring Takayama, Japan

Exploring Takayama, Japan

Exploring Takayama, Japan

Exploring Takayama, Japan

Exploring Takayama, Japan

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Exploring Higashiyama-teramachi in Tayakama.

Britnee attempts to scare the locals as Sarubobo in Takayama.

Britnee attempts to scare the locals as Sarubobo in Takayama.

Enjoying one of two free foot baths in downtown Takayama. Wonderful hot springs for tired, over-walked feet.

Enjoying one of two free foot baths in downtown Takayama. Wonderful hot springs for tired, over-walked feet.

Rice paddies everywhere. Great for snakes in Takayama.

Rice paddies everywhere. Great for snakes in Takayama.

Snake! This thing was at least 4-5 feet long. Had to save it from being ran over by passing cars and watched it climb some stairs into a garden in Takayama.

Snake! This thing was at least 4-5 feet long. Had to save it from being ran over by passing cars and watched it climb some stairs into a garden in Takayama.

Even the locals were impressed with the size of that snake we saw in Takayama.

Even the locals were impressed with the size of that snake we saw in Takayama.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live. Photo by our tour guide Yamamoto.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Takayama

On a day trip to Shirakawa-go outside Takayama. Not as rural as we expected, but at one point in time it must have been a pretty remote and cold place to live.

Our second anniversary dinner at McDonalds. Britnee was thrilled. Living on a tight budget here, but it was still fun to sample Japan's unique menu items. Photo by Mark Johnston.

Our second anniversary dinner at McDonalds. Britnee was thrilled. Living on a tight budget here, but it was still fun to sample Japan’s unique menu items. Photo by Mark Johnston.

Matsukurajo Castle Ruins above Takayama. Photo by Mark Johnston.

Matsukurajo Castle Ruins above Takayama. Photo by Mark Johnston.

Hiking to Matsukurajo Castle Ruins above Takayama. Photo by Britnee Johnston.

Hiking to Matsukurajo Castle Ruins above Takayama. Photo by Britnee Johnston.

Home sweet home for our stay in Takayama. The Sakura Guest House was wonderful.

Home sweet home for our stay in Takayama. The Sakura Guest House was wonderful.

About The Author

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Mark quit everything to travel the world for a year with his wife, Britnee. Along the way, he picked up a love for many other things, including illy coffee, Nepal, Bolivianos bills, and Thai beaches. Now happily home in Utah, Mark is a balding marketing professional with a mountain biking addiction.

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