When I checked out of my hostel in Fujikawaguchio, I saw a binder filled with tips on how to get to different places in Japan from that hostel. While flipping through it, I decided that instead of going to Kyoto like I had originally planned, I was going to go to a city I never heard of, just to explore and see what I would find. Takayama caught my eye because getting there would take me across the middle of Japan, down along the west coast of the island, and back towards the central mountainous region. It sounded like an interesting train ride to a brand new place. So I made the pivot on a whim and headed to Takayama.
In Takayama, I learned an important lesson about exploration, travel and to some extent about life: We don’t necessarily need to find anything breathtaking or spectacular for our journeys to be enjoyable and memorable.
I didn’t do or come across anything super spectacular here in Takayama, but I loved my cozy hostel, I enjoyed my time meandering through the local city, and it was so memorable because it felt like I was actually exploring and finding things I was not looking for. That’s the true reality of exploring, that I feel like Instagram and mainstream travel culture has muddled: We do not need to find something breathtaking or amazing for our trips to be memorable and enjoyable. I was in Takayama, Japan between January 12th - January 14th, 2019