You can’t go to Gifu without trying the local specialty, Hida beef. This premium, marbled steak, similar to the famous Kobe beef, is tender, juicy and oh so tasty. Seriously, I’m drooling just thinking about it.
While we were in Takayama, we chose a Hida-gyu specialty restaurant, called Suzuya, and ordered the most popular dishes on the menu – miso steak cooked on a magnolia leaf and shabu shabu. I loved the idea of cooking on leaves, which are collected from the neighbouring mountains. All of the vegetables – mushrooms, cabbage, onions, peppers, carrots, spring onions – are locally grown, too. It was delicious and hit the spot. Though, I have to say, nothing compares to a simple Hida beef yakitori seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper.
The red beef was almost the same colour as the red leaves outside! Of all the places we visited on this weekend trip, Takayama’s autumn colours were the most brilliant. Before hitting the road again on the Sunday, we went to the highest point in the town, to a park called Shiroyama where Takayama Castle used to stand. We were actually hoping to catch a glimpse of the town from above, but it turned out there were too many trees to see anything. But that didn’t matter at all. Instead, we were completely blown away by the colours. It looked like someone had gone and painted the leaves in neon yellow and red and orange. I don’t think I’ve ever seen leaves so brightly coloured before in my life. The park was small and we didn’t spend long there, but it was an absolute gem!
From Takayama, we drove up through the mountains to Toyama. The entire weekend was incredible. Japan is such a diverse, beautiful country, and there’s so much to discover.