Takayama – Floats

In the morning, the floats were on display in the street. Each float ‘belongs’ to a Takayama family; knowing the Japanese, probably the old families of the town.

Floats by day

We got a first-hand look at how beautiful, intricate and unique each one was.

Float dolls Float pictures
Float details A nice ride

Luckily these floats get an airing twice a year, in April and October, so that locals and visitors alike can marvel at its beauty.

Takayama – Markets

We’ll have a look at more market produce today.

There are decorative reeds with little dolls that are a speciality of the town.

Little dolls

This obaasan (grandmother) was selling some corn posies.

Selling craft

Actually, there were plenty of decorative corn for sale.

Decorative corn cobs anyone?

But I was more fascinated by the boxes of wasabi. Yep, that’s what they look like fresh. The paste that we get in Australia is actually dyed horseradish.

Fresh wasabi

Takayama – By the River I Eat Mochi

By day, Takayama is a pretty and vibrant place.

Takayama by day

Children feed the fish in the river.

Feeding the carp

And when they get hungry themselves, they line up for grilled mochi (with a soy glaze) on a stick. Mochi is rice pounded until it reaches a springy, dough consistency. Then it can be glazed and grilled…

Grilled mochi

Or it can be made into a sweet. We watch an expert sweet mochi maker ply his trade. By the time he finishes dicing the batch we knew we had to try some.

Mochi making

Takayama – Autumn Festival – Night

Takayama is a town in Gifu Prefecture, in the middle of the Japanese Alps. It’s claim to fame is its sake and its elaborate autumn and spring festivals. On my trip to Japan in 2006 I was lucky enough to visit during the autumn festival. The streets were filled with vendors of all kinds, but the food stalls were of the most interest to me!

This one is making red bean or custard filled little buns.

Takayama - The Autumn Festival

Charcoal grilled freshwater fish.

Grilled Fish

Traditional paper dolls.


But the main attraction at night were the giant floats that were hauled through the streets.


Later on we’ll be studying them close up in daylight.

Thai Lunch – Mains

We ordered two dishes for mains. First, steamed barramundi fillets and vegetables. It was a very delicate dish that could have used a bit more seasoning, but the veges and fish were all cooked very well.

Steamed Barramundi and vegetables

But my favourite of the day was gai yang, barbecued lemongrass chicken fillets. Lovely marinade and charcoal flavours served with sweet chilli sauce.

Gai Yang

I found the recipe in one of my books at home. It looks simple enough so I might make it one day.

Thai Lunch – Entrees

I realise that I’ve not posted about food for a long time. Probably because I’ve not taken my camera to restaurants for a while. Well, I’ll try to get back in the act, starting with a Thai lunch.

Prawn won tons

We’d been to KB Thai in Woy Woy before and had a great meal, so we were keen to try it again. We started off with some prawn won tons that were nice and light with a hint of ginger.

Barbecued prawns

Next was barbecued prawns, which were less successful. They were prawns on a stick really, and after deshelling and desticking, the resulting flesh wasn’t exactly worth the effort.