Japan 2015: Takayama Highlights Part 1

Going into the 2nd third of our trip as we leave Kanagawa (Yokohama / Kamakura / Enoshima) and head on to Takayama next.

The journey from Yokohama to Takayama (via Nagoya) took up the greater half of the day (left Yokohama after breakfast around 0950 Hrs) as the shinkansen journey to Nagoya from Shin-Yokohama (via Tokaido Shinkansen took 2 hours …. and another 2 hours express train to Takayama (via the Limited Express Wide View Hida) …… Endured a slight hiccup as the JR local train to Shin-Yokohama (from Kannai Station) was delayed due to a track accident, and we had to literally run and change track to take the Yokohama local subway (blue line) to get to our reserved Shinkansen on time.

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Realised that our luggages were rather heavy to lug up the Hida Express train that is a lot more narrow than the Shinkansen (the seating is 2 by 2). It also occured to us a lot more later than we could have stayed in Nagoya for 1 day …… then head to Takayama …… and back to Nagoya for another day, and dropped off the big luggages at Nagoya. Well, hotel room availability didn’t work out that well in our favour, that’s why we ended up with the long long journey to Takayama straight!

Pretty scenic ride from Nagoya to Takayama, but no pictures as the train was pretty rocky. Reached Takayama around 3-plus, and we decided to check-in to our hotel 1st. Thank goodness our hotel – Spa Hotel Alphina Hida Takayama was only 5 min walk right across Takayama Station. Pretty new (opened in year 2009) and with pretty nice (& comfortable beds) ……

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There is also an onsen right at the rooftop of the hotel, but we ended up NOT using it for the 2 nights we were there due to early menses, and the huge crowds in the evening.

The view from our hotel room, facing Takayama old town. You can also see some of the autumn foliage and the mountains.

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After settling in and resting a bit, we walked back out to the train station area for an early dinner. This was also our one and only full meal of the day, as we had bread whilst on the ‘road’ for the entire afternoon. Settled for a small restaurant right at the main road facing the train station (can’t remember the name of the restaurant though, if I recall correctly, the restaurant name is called Kei-Chan as per the restaurant directory provided by the hotel) ……

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We decided to have the ‘Kei-Chan’ for an early dinner as it was something we have never eaten before. Kei-Chan is actually a local chicken dish that orignated from the Gujo district of Gifu Prefecture (where Takayama is located in) …… and mainly just chicken, vegetables with a choice of sauce (either soy sauce or miso taste).

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This was easily one of the BEST meals we had during the trip. Very simple dish (mainly chicken and vegetables) but the ingredients were so fresh and the miso sauce really enhanced the flavours of the ingredients. It could also be that we were REALLY hungry …… and this is our one and only full meal for the day! What made it even better was the fact that the kitchen allowed us to have the set meal despite us ordering our food 10 mins after 5pm (which is when the set meal promotion ends). Having additional appetizers in the form of a cold octopus dish and pickles made the meal even more delicious 🙂

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The food here was so good and to our liking (and not to mention inexpensive as the kei-chan chicken set meal was only 1000 JPY) that we ended going back to the same restaurant for our dinner on our 2nd night in Takayama (Saturday 8 November 2015).

This time round, we tried their other local Gifu specialities – Tomato Ramen & Hida Beef With Hoba Miso. Although this is the famous Hida Beef that is a Gifu speciality ….. somehow or another, I felt if I had it in steak form instead, I would have be able to better enjoy the tenderness, and melt-in-the-mouth sensation ….. as versus to having it in thin slices.

Update:

Finally managed to locate the restaurant on google map. The restaurant is called 鶏ちゃん家 (Keichan-ya).

Tablelog link -http://tabelog.com/en/gifu/A2104/A210401/21001825/

Restaurant Webpage – http://nagomi-takayama.jp/keichan.html

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