Sunday, September 22, 2019

[Japan-Takayama] An Autumn Day Trip to Takayama 高山 (Mission to View Autumn Leaves and To Enjoy Hida Beef)

One of the things that I did while in Nagoya, was to take a day trip to Takayama. Main reason? Because I was looking for Hida beef. Wahahahha! Yes, will travel for food. Well, not all the time though. But I was already there at the northern part, so why not travel up further since I had the JR Pass.

train is approaching
onwards to Hida-furukawa

Since it was going to be a 2.5 hours long journey, naturally I'd brought food onboard to eat first. Just a random bento from Nagoya Train station.

miso katsu

It was supposedly miso katsu of pork/chicken and shrimps, I think. But the miso was really salty. The onsen egg was interesting. Least enjoyed this bento.

lovely scenery
美濃太田駅 Mino-Ota Station Train Master

autumn view from train
Takayama Train Station
Reached Takayama in the late morning, and I wanted to take a look at the autumn leaves first, so went to purchase the bus ticket to Hida Folk Village (飛騨の里).  The bus station is right next to the train station, so it was rather convenient. The destination was about 20 minutes away so lunch will have to wait.

bus ticket + entrance fee

small bus

let's go explore!
thatched roof!
lovely to walk around and enjoy the view
autumn is here~
close up view of the roof
beautiful colours

After admiring the beauty of autumn, it was time to head back to the town. However, there was a bit of traffic, and hence, lunch was delayed yet again. Was walking round and round in search for Hida beef. Only one chance, so need to decide wisely.

さるぼぼ Sarubobo

In Takayama, one will encounter Sarubobo which can be translated as monkey baby. Oh wait, I was supposed to be looking for food! Found a few, like beef sushi (pretty famous with long queues) but I didn't want to eat tiny piece of beef. Beef udon curry, hmmm but no, I think I want a steak.

the famed spot for tourists

I walked and walked, looked and looked and finally decided on one but the shop was closed! *gasps* Didn't realise that it was already 3pm where most restaurants or food places close for mid-day break. NooOOoo! Does this mean I will go back to Nagoya without ever tasting Hida beef? NooOOOooOO!

Luckily, one shop was still open for business so I hurried in. The place was empty saved for an elderly Japanese couple having their meal. Almost finishing, in fact.


The restaurant was of a nostalgic western styled and the ambiance was cosy. Feeling hungry but slightly out of place and a little awkward. いらっしゃいませ!I heard the greeting from the lady at the counter. I was alone so she asked if I could be seated at the counter. Yes, of course.


There wasn't any English word nor picture on the menu and I was too shy to ask for one. But I think I know the words on the menu with the price tag of 3,600 yen (about SGD46). "ステーキ", I said. The lady smiled and as there was no other order, the lady repeated it to the Chef, who looks like he is in his seventies.

green tea and menu

The place also serves sashimi as I could see the chiller at the counter but I didn't come all the way to have fish! The Chef cooks slowly and he melted the butter first, before seasoning it and then in goes the meat. He poured sauce onto the meat before covering it to cook for a little while. Meanwhile, the lady goes and scoop up some rice on a plate. Seems like I'm going to have steak and rice. Which is a first for me.

Finally, it was ready! Hahaha, it was rather amusing having rice with knife and fork. It was East meets West with miso soup and rice paired with beef steak and salad!

Hida Beef Steak Set Meal (rice and miso soup)

Hida Beef

The meat was tender but not fatty. Very gentle to chew. The sauce was similar to HP sauce with a tangy twist to it. The salad was fresh and miso soup was just nice for something to warm the tummy.

the shop signage

It was a good meal and I was full. But I still had an hour to spare before the train arrives. Decided to get a cup of coffee. Walked into Streamer's Coffee Company and the place was so spacious! There's a chic feel to the cafe.

Streamers Coffee Company
high benches

There are charging points on the table top, so that was really useful for us travelers. The baristas are young and cheerful looking. Polite and friendly. Plus, able to converse a little in English.

order at the counter

They have seasonal coffee but the flavour then was "Bubblegum". Hmmm, a tad too exotic for me to try so I opted for a safer drink called "Takumi", which is essentially, a latte.

Aya-san concentrating on the latte art

Thank you Aya-san for the beautiful cup of coffee. But the coffee was really a large cup and after having drunk half, I was already about to burst.


Coffee was smooth and not too acidic. Milk was not too overpowering too. No sugar was needed. After taking that last sip of the coffee, it was time to head to the train station to return to Nagoya.

Was lucky I didn't wait till last minute to head back to the train station because found out that there was a queue at the gate to enter the platform. I was somewhere in the first 20 of the queue and the gate remained steadfastly closed even though the train was to arrive in the next five minutes. Uh, felt a bit gancheong already because usually I'd already be waiting at the platform. Some other commuters were feeling the same and they went to enquire if it was really necessary to queue. The station master just motioned for commuters to wait in the queue.

With just 2 minutes remaining, the gate opened and we went in as quickly as possible. Took the escalator up to the platform and was able to board on time. Did not encounter this anywhere else as one usually just enters the gate with the ticket and then wait at the platform to board the train when it comes.

Was a nice day trip to Takayama and am missing the Hida beef and the cute barista there. Would like to go back there some day and to stay a night or two to explore more.


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