D. complains that Ikeda Onsen michi no eki was noisy. The local kids dashing about in their cars but, I confess, I slept like a baby. The morning is damp not actually raining or a least not very much.
The michi no eki has several shops selling cakes, soft creams, oysters, fish on sticks and other miscellaneous merchandise. It also has a foot bath, electric bicycles for rental and a reasonable view over somewhere. There are decorative pot plants in the toilets which is always a good sign.
Gujo Hachiman 郡上八幡
Today we are bound for Gujo Hachiman, a drive that takes us initially through a flat unimpressive landscape until we reach Gifu city. From there the countryside becomes more interesting following a river into the mountains.
Gujo Hachiman is an interesting place with a castle perched high above and a very fine river gushing through. There are narrow streets and old buildings and a few, well-preserved Meiji era remnants plus strange narrow alleyways. All with a background sound of rushing water as there are streams and sluices everywhere some filled with enormous carp.
A this point a Japanese gentleman approaches me “Japanese joke” he announces – pointing to the large fish – “Sukoi”- he says. “Sugoi” here could be translated as” Amazing”. “Koi” translated as “carp”. Oh, how we laughed.
Gujo Hachiman is a small town in Gifu pref. worth a visit.
In the summer they hold a festival where they dance in the streets for 33 days. Especially at Obon they dance for 4 days and 3 nights.
From Gujo Hachiman we follow Pref. R.73 – R. 472 the Seseragi Kaido to towards Takayama. This is a great road to drive as it winds through beautiful woods rising into the mountains. On the outskirts of Takayama we take R. 41 towards Toyama. This is a difficult route to find as it appears you are entering the highway but, happily, this is an illusion. Once on our road, we soon find the Alp Hida-Furukawa michi no eki on R.472. Nothing to note, except the rain, as we arrive just after dusk.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.