March 31, 2013
0583 JAPAN (Chūbu) - A morning market in Takayama
Located in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Takayama developed its own culture in the last 300 years, because the high altitude and separation from other areas of Japan kept the area fairly isolated. The city and its culture, as they exist today, took shape at the end of the 16th century, when the Kanamori clan built Takayama Castle. In 1936 it merged with Onada, and in 2005 with other nine towns and villages, becoming the largest city in Japan by surface area.
Takayama's old town has been beautifully preserved, with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants. The southern half of the old town, especially the Sannomachi Street, survives in a particularly pretty state with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries.
A proverb in the area says that "early riser gains three coins", so the city has two morning markets (asaichi), with over 200 years of history: the Jinya-mae Market in front of the Jinya (old shogunate outpost), and the Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa River. In the most stands the wives of local farmers sell fresh vegetables and mountain vegetables that were harvested that day, flowers, pickles as well as homemade miso (Japanese bean paste) and folk-art goods.
About the stamps
The stamp is part of a second series depicting constellations (issued in 2012), which contains ten stamps with the same values (80 JPY): Capricornus, Aquariues, Pisces, Cassiopeia, Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus, Cepheus (on this postcard), Cetus, Ikariboshi.
Takayama, Gifu - Wikipedia
Takayama - All Japan Tour
sender: Akiko Watanabe (direct swap)
sent from Kitakyushu (Japan), on 14.03.2013