Into the mountains we went, today! And what glorious mountains they are! The season has changed and there was plenty of autumnal colour in the forests and beside the raging rivers. This year’s team is lucky that the leaves have started to change ahead of their usual schedule!
Our first stop was at Gujo Hachiman, the city famous for producing ‘sample foods’ made from wax and displayed in the windows of restaurants around the country.
This city is also famous for its many canals and the old fashioned fire-buckets that hang seemingly in every available corner since the whole place was almost lost to fire in 1652. Students made sample foods of their own and witnessed the genius of the artisans that work in the unique industry.
We bundled into the bus again and travelled on to Shirakawago, a hidden valley village with World Heritage status. Deservedly so! Criss-crossed with canals of its own, trout and koi fish swim past freshly harvested rice fields and the people who still call the village home go about their regular business.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to stretch their legs before popping back on the bus to travel to Matsumoto City, which will be home for the night staying at a Ryokan.
We have made it to the other side of the Japanese alps and the bus awaits us for new adventures tomorrow. Oyasuminasai (goodnight)!