After our adventures frolicking in the “downtown” area of Takayama (population like 200) and running away in screaming terror from the stuffed knife wielding animatronic denzins of the “Eco TeddyBear Village”, we looked at our cheesy tourist map and realized we still hadn’t been to the “Hida Folk Village”.
The “Hida Folk Village” is basically a small enclave of old traditional Japanese houses which have been carefully preserved in their (more or less) original state. They are gathered together to form a village which is supposed to recreate how Japanese lived hundreds of years ago.
If you watch the video carefully, you’ll notice that several times I accidentally cross into the oncoming lane of traffic. Fortunately there weren’t many cars on the road, or else I’m sure we would have died.
You may also notice that we very clearly don’t know the words to the song. But that doesn’t stop us, since if there’s one thing living in a country where karaoke is the national past time has taught us, it’s that even if you don’t know the lyrics to a song, as long as you sing it in a funny voice and make exaggerated gestures, people play along.
….until I saw these. Oh my god!! This was the first of what would soon spin into an incredibly propitious string of Yokohama Chinatown panda spottings! These are steamed dumplings with are stamped in the shape of cute little panda faces! I squealed like a school girl when I saw them and ran over to purchase one. They were pretty steep (like $3USD each) but I was all set to plop down for them, when I saw to my disappointment that they were filled with chocolate and bean paste instead of delicious steamed meat. (Actually there were ones filled with meat – the one in the topmost poster for example – but they weren’t so cute so I didn’t buy them). My disappointment was soon alleviated, however, when just around the corner I spied…
Oh my goodness, an entire store devoted JUST TO SELLING PANDA GOODS!! I was in heaven!! I rushed over to the store, brusquely pushing aside a small 12 year old girl and two old women who were in my way (pandas are endangered, old women and little girls are not so it’s all good in my book). Had I found my mecca? I think I had!!
It’s spring break! With no big plans in the works, my ever faithful travel companion and I decided that a quickie road trip up to Takayama in nearby Gifu Prefecture would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday. What’s there to do over in Takayama? Well… Historic Japan Much of Japan is rebuilt and…