Jun 12, 2011

If you like Kyoto, you will like these too!

Most of us when we visit Japan, we will cover packed these places in our one-week trip- Tokyo for shopping & Disneyland; Osaka for takoyaki and their genki culture and Kyoto for the historic streets and temples.

If you love the back-in-olden-days-Japan look in Kyoto, then you will love these places too.

Takayama 高山

This town is gradually becoming a popular tourist spot. I have been there twice, 4 years ago, and 2 weeks ago.

The towns are still the same, with dark brown wooden structures and friendly shop owners. The shops look small on the outside, but when you enter these 'houses' you will realise that it is actually very huge. It can house a few shops. That's because these old houses were ancestoral legacies, with generations living under the same roof, hence the huge size. Moreover these houses are near the castle, hence they belong to richer households, who could afford big housing then.

You will love this stretch of old town in Takayama. It is designated as a heritage site.

Most signages have both Japanese and English, too. It is very tourist-friendly.

While researching for this blog post, I came across the above youtube video. Waa... Takayama is so beautiful in winter! Takayama, wait for me! I will visit you in winter! (I have visited Takayama in summer and autumn.)

Ise Jingu 伊勢神宮

Another spot you can't miss is Ise Jingu 伊勢神宮. Near the sacred temple, the oldest temple in Japan, is the stretch of old town. The wooden infrastructure were also preserved and designated as the heritage site.

A very old-school post office.

The wind shrine located in 伊勢神宮. Very different from other temples.

Fish stall, which allows customers to try their grilled fishes before buying.

I am still on a lookout for other "Little Kyotos". It is what makes Japan unique. :) Do let me know if you know more. Let's uncover the other less well-known "Little Kyotos" :)