Last morning in the city before heading to Tokyo Station to catch the train to Hida as this evening is the welcome party for the studio. Travelling first to Nagoya on the Tokaido Shinkansen, which from what I heard was the fastest of the "bullet trains" as it continues on to connect Tokyo to Kyoto. Catching this train was a bit stressful as there was only an 8 minute window to depart one train and find and board the next. And the train being 3 minutes late meant we (I ran into a few other U of T students on board the Shinkansen) had to figure out what platform and run there in just a few minutes. And while it the first leg was indeed fast, the second (slower) connecting train, the Takayama Line, was a much more scenic route travelling through the mountains.
Arriving at the FabCafe Hida. Part cafe, part fabrication lab (woodshop, 3D printers, lasercutters, UV printer). This is also where I will be staying for the next three weeks on the second floor. Three other University of Toronto students are staying here in a tatami room. Others are in 2 nearby traditional houses. The evening was an introduction and welcome party with lots of local food dishes provided by the community as well as locally brewed sake.
One dish which was a highlight was Hida beef that is cooked over a candle on a magnolia leef with miso. Hida beef is famous in the area and competes with Kobe and Wagyu beef (the later two which seem to be more well known internationally) for what is considered the best Japanese beef. It's ridiculously marbled as the cows are fed beer and massaged their whole lives. We have yet to actually see a cow in all our travelling around the area so we have come to the conclusion that there are special spas that the cows live in.