1. This was by far my favorite place in Japan that I went to. Traveling from Nagoya Station the trip took around two hours by train. I didn't mind the long ride however as the scenery on the way there was amazing. Compared to Nagoya which seemed really compact to me having just come from America I found the scenery on the way to Takayama very refreshing. There was a river that we followed almost all the way up the mountain while the mountain itself was very green. I found the trip there to be one of my favorite parts. Once I got to Takayama I went to my hotel first so I didn't have to drag my belongings behind me the whole way. I was really early for check-in but was able to check my bags. The hotel was about 2 km outside of the actual city on ground with a higher elevation. Not quite a mountain but certainly bigger than anything I would think to call a hill. That being said it had an amazing view of Takayama. There are quite a few small shops in the main part of town. I spent most of the day looking at these shops and sitting by the river. It was a very clear river which I don't get to see a lot in America. It also had a large number of Koi swimming in the river. The one thing that I did not like about the city is that the Japanese that lived there seemed to have gotten used to the beauty of the city and weren't in awe of the beauty as I was.

    If I were to change anything about the city it is that basically everything shut down completely at 5pm. It made it difficult to find anything to eat for dinner. I later found out there was a 24/7 McDonalds in the city so if I were desperate I could have eaten there. The one shop I did find that was still open for food had hida beef on a stick. I remember it quite well because the shop keeper was nervous when he saw me and said to the Japanese customers there "I don't know English" or something similar I don't remember his exact words. The reason I remember it so well is because I started speaking to him in Japanese and it felt like all those years of studying had at least paid off in a big way. To be able to quell his fears of not being able to communicate with me is one of my favorite memories I have of Japan and I feel I'll remember it for many years to come. The sakura had not yet bloomed at this time but the beauty of this something is really something you need to see for yourself to understand how special it is.


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