Our first stop on our Japanese honeymoon was a lovely Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) called Wanosato. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the setting and above all, the people who pampered us. We were treated like royalty and ate better than I have at any point in my life. Our dinners ranged from shabu-shabu and sukiyaki to chef delivered 8-10 course meals. We saw every facet of Japanese cuisine (at least that enjoyed in the region) and in my opinion, had exemplary samples of each dish. Since this isn’t a food blog, I guess we’ll examine the sights of the area!

The city of Takayama is known throughout Japan as “Little Kyoto” and for good reason. The older, preserved streets and buildings are a dead ringer for some of the more historic districts of Kyoto, just on a smaller scale. Because we were there in the early winter, the skies were largely grey and it rained/snowed quite often, but that detracted nothing from the overall beauty of the place. If anything, the muted color pallet made many scenes especially well suited for black and white photography and selected colorization (largely black and white with one or a small range of colors highlighted). We spent four nights at Wanosato and had three full days to explore the Takayama area.

The first day, we wandered the historic districts, did some shopping at the morning markets and took a soba making lesson… making noodles by hand with a gigantic knife is a lot harder than it looks!