Takayama – Day 2 (also, my birthday!)

After packing and stashing my ever-expanding suitcase at the hotel, I walked over to the Hida Folk Village, which features lots of old buildings from across the region that have been moved there to preserve them. On the way there, I saw this weird and twisted sculpture. I particularly like the snot detail on the nose of the boy on the left:

The village itself was really interesting, and had lots of houses with steep pitched rooves like the ones in Shirakawa-go, which I wanted to stay in but couldn’t get a room there.

Before going back into town I spotted the Main World Shrine, which is the gaudiest thing I have seen since arriving in Japan. It is the headquarters for a “religion” called Mahikari, which was founded in the 60’s by a businessman, after he got a “revelation” from God. It has three million followers in Japan, but you wouldn’t be far off assuming it was a cult – it has in fact been classified as such by the French National Assembly Committee of Inquiry on Cults. Anyhow, the building was impressive and I’d imagine would be what Michael Jackson would create had he decided to start a new religion, rather than squandered all his money on a theme park.

After buying food for the journey, I jumped on the train back to Tokyo. It was soooo hot on the train that I had to take my thermal underwear off in the loo! When I got to Tokyo I was practically at melting point. I honestly don’t know how the Japanese cope with the excessive heating without breaking a sweat.

Anyhow, time for one last post about the momentous event that is (was) by 30th birthday!

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