Monday, November 8, 2010
This is the second day I had off to sightsee. First thing in the morning I had a half an hour meeting with the mayor of Takayama. My host Mr. Shokoin did all the talking. I shared my shuttle collection, briefly showed him how to tat and gave him a four stitch butterfly.
Next was the Sashoko Shop where I was taught a Japanese embroidery called Sashiko. Doing the technique correctly takes practice but is very efficient. The example I show here is not mine, just a coaster I picked up. They had some wonderful things to buy here, small and large.
Takayama is in the “alps” of Japan and gained importance as a source of high quality timber and highly skilled carpenters. The lacquered wood items here were particularly beautiful. It has a beautifully preserved old town with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from 1600-1868. The Takayama Festival,held in spring and autumn, is considered one of Japan's best festivals. After lunch we went up to the Takayama Yatai Kaikan, a festival float exhibition hall, the elaborately decorated floats are several hundred years old and beautiful examples of Takayama's legendary craftsmanship.
My trip to Takayama ended with a beautiful train trip down the mountains along the river back to Nagoya and from there to another train to Kyoto.