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Things to do in Japan

Getting a flavour of alpine life in Takayama

This tour offers a superb insight into Japanese cuisine and culture that everyone can appreciate, not just foodies….

Sho Hirano
Food and culture guide in Takayama

Getting a flavour of alpine life in Takayama

This tour offers a superb insight into Japanese cuisine and culture that everyone can appreciate, not just foodies. As we walk around, we explain the making of and the origins of tsukemono (pickled vegetables), miso, sake, wagashi (Japanese confectionery) and so on, as well as their close relation to the everyday life of the locals and the climate and history of Takayama. Of course, as well as learning about the various foods and drinks, we do also get to try quite a lot of them, which everyone enjoys.

What makes this an even-more-special experience, though, is the chance to see into the daily lives of the people living in Takayama. The foods and dishes introduced during the tour are ones that the local people consume daily, as well as being strongly connected to the culture of the Hida area, the traditional name of Takayama. In addition, visitors have the opportunity to communicate with the people working in the colourful Jinya-Mae morning market and the town’s small shops, some of which have been in existence for generations.

I particularly love the Jinya-Mae market. You can see and taste a variety of ingredients that change with the seasons, but the old ladies running the stalls are the real highlight. It’s really fun just talking to them.

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Alfred & Sho Hirano

Sho has always been interested in other languages and cultures – so much so that he spent a year in Italy while studying at university. Now back to Japan, he enjoys introducing visitors to the culinary and cultural wonders of Takayama. His experience of living overseas gives him a unique perspective, helping him explain concepts to foreign visitors that many Japanese take for granted.

Alfred & our Japan holiday experts

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