Most of the time when I was traveling between cities in Japan I would catch a ride on the country’s excellent train network, but when going from Kanazawa to Takayama I took a bus. Japan’s bus system is also very good and sometimes can be a better option than taking a train. I grabbed a seat towards the front of the bus so that I could see out the front window and settled in for the ride to Takayama. Only a small number of people boarded the bus in Kanazawa so I was able to sit wherever I wanted.
For the first leg of the trip the bus cruised along a highway, with the landscape becoming steadily more rural. Small towns and farmland dominated the scenery, all while the wall of mountains in the distance got closer and closer.
After a while the bus started moving up into the mountains. Densely forested slopes stretched out before me and the settlements became smaller and less common. At one point the bus stopped at Shirakawago, which would be one of two places that I’d be visiting the next day as part of a trip from Takayama. I couldn’t see too much of Shirakawago from the bus but it gave me a little preview of what I’d be seeing the next day. A large group of tourists boarded the bus at Shirakawago and a French lady took the seat next to me. She had also been traveling around Japan and I showed her a few of the photos I had taken in other parts of the country. Our conversation helped pass the time as the bus continued to work its way through the mountains. Soon enough it arrived in Takayama, where I got off to begin the next stage of my journey.