The Fascinating Japan (14 Days 13 Nights Itinerary) (Part III: Takayama, Shirakawa-go)
Monday, July 25, 2016

Here's the part III of our Japan trip, which we rent a car from Toyota, collected from Kyoto and we did self drive to Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Nagoya, Hakone and returned the car in Tokyo.  It's the best decision ever, as to be honest, we were very tired of walking. LOL  We relied on public transport for the first 6 days of our trip and we walked averagely 12000 steps a day, with highest record registered at 16000 steps in a day when we went to Arasyiyama.  So when we collected our car and had more freedom to explore anywhere we liked, wow, we were all so grateful and joyous.  Spoiled brats from Malaysia, you may call us.  Hahaha... Yes, we live in a country that almost everyone owns a car.  

There are a few websites which provide car rentals, after making comparisons on the prices and services (on communications mainly, as not all can communicate well in English, spoken or written), we decided to go with Toyota.  We had to call them, the officer spoke fair English, they would fax you the confirmation.  Easy peasy.  


To read the part I and part II of our trip to Japan, please click on the link below: 

Part I: Osaka, Nara, Kobe:

Part II: Kyoto:


Now let's see what we did in Takayama and Shirakawa-go: 

Day 7: Collected car from Toyota shop in Kyoto, drove to Takayama and Shirakawa-go.  

Accommodation:  Sumiyoshi Ryokan in Takayama


Woohoo... everyone was excited that we finally got to travel comfortably in a car.  Haha... 

We were heading towards Gifu Prefecture, which is moutaineous and we went through hundreds of these tunnels.  

We droved passed many small and beautiful Japanese villages.  

We were so lucky that it snowed heavily the night before and Papa Bear pulled over at a major rest stop for kids to play with the still fresh and fluffy snow.  :)

The love bears in Gifu.  

Rolling snowball was fun. 

Do you want to build a snowman?  Yes, I do...

She had grown so much compared to a year and a half ago when she first saw and played with snow in New Zealand.  Love my beautiful inside out Sister Bear! :)

OK, the initial plan was to drive to Takayama and we would explore Takayama on this day.  But as we saw fresh snow along the way, we thought it would have snowed the night before in Shirakawa-go too.  We imagined the snow covered roofs of these beautiful houses.  So we changed our plan to rush to Shirakawa-go before the snow melted (we thought).  We finally arrived to a dry wintery Shirakawa-go.  Still beautiful nevertheless.  :) 

Beautiful landscape.  It was around 5pm, we took some pictures and quickly headed towards Takayama again, as we had to check into our Ryokan by 6pm and dinner was served at 6.30pm.  Yes, our Ryokan provided us with dinner, breakfast and private onsen. :)  

Our cozy Ryokan which was rated number 1 on Trip Advisor at time of our visit, which we confirm that it's true to all the wonderful reviews.  This is really an awesome place, look no further.  

We were led into our huge family room and grounded green tea leaves and traditional Japanese biscuits were ready for our quick bites.

Bonus time:  the lady who attended to us whom our kids fondly addressed her as "ah mah" brought KIMONOS for the girls.  

She had got Baby Bear's size too!!!  

Our beautiful Japanese bears. LOL

The full course traditional Japanese dinner.  It's our best meal in Japan, as it's so authentic and delicious.  

The food is also picturesque.  :)

The private onsen, ahhh.... this was just fantastic!!! 

The room was all ready for us to have our good night sleep when we came out from the awesome onsen bath.  How lovely! 


Day 8: Takayama morning market and Shirakawa-go, then drove to Nagoya for a night rest.  

Accommodation: Hotel MyStays Nagoya-Sakae, Nagoya (Review: 8/10 due to it's centralised air-conditioning system, which was a bit stuffy and warm, thank God we were all so tired and we slept through soundly.) 


Our next destination was actually Hakone, but we decided to break the journey shorter by staying a night in Nagoya, so that we did not have to rush and day light was shorter during winter, so it was not a good idea to drive in a foreign place in the dark too, especially to another mountaineous town like Hakone.  Let's enjoy some pictures we took on our day 8 adventure. 

We were so well fed by our lovely 'ah mah', it was a full spread traditional Japanese breakfast.  

The external of our small and cozy Ryokan.  The property is more than 100 years old.  

The river between our Ryokan and the morning market.  It was a super cold morning in Takayama.

Baby Bear was looking curiously at the organic corns which looked like toy corns to her.  LOL

Here's a picture of our rental car.  

The peaceful ancient town of Takayama.  I'm in love with this small town.  

Some beautiful houses in Takayama.  

Shirakawa-go from the lookup point. 

Some maintenance work was on-going to preserve this historical village.  

Wow, she was strong! LOL

We left Shirakawa-go after lunch and Papa Bear decided not to take the express way that we could perhaps explore some small towns which were not accessible from the express way.  

We were greeted with breathtaking views of the dams, rivers and mountains.  

We pulled over for snow play, but the town was too quiet that we left after awhile.  Hehe... :D

Kids still wanted to play with snow so much, so Papa Bear pulled over again at another major rest stop as we turned into the express way to satisfy their snow craving.  LOL  

The beautiful sunset at 4.30pm. 

We arrived Nagoya around 7pm due to the traffic jam entering the city.   We were so tired that we just walked acrossed the street of our hotel for dinner.   Thank God the atmosphere and food were good and the eatery had a non smoking session.


We ended our day 8 with Haagen Dass.  It's cheaper in Japan.  So kids had been eating this quite frequently.  :) 


That's the end of our part III.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  :)

To read the part I and part II of our trip to Japan, please click on the link below: 

Part I: Osaka, Nara, Kobe:

Part II: Kyoto:





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Welcome to my blog! It was a travelogue to document all our travels with our 3 beautiful kids (Brother Bear, Sister Bear and Baby Bear).  Papa Bear and I love travelling.

Having kids does not stop us from doing so, as when we travel as a family, we gain more and together we make sweet memories to be cherished forever.

Oh yes, the blog has now evolved to a more MOM's site, as I realise there are so much more things about parenthood which I wish to share with other parents. So here you go, my humble blog - :) 

Why being just a mom is just AMAZING?

Because mom is a title just above QUEEN. :)

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