Miya-gawa morning market was a great way to start off each morning in Takayama. Set against the river, there are little market stalls and shops selling local crafts, hand-made and locally produced goods, foods and fresh produce, pickled edibles and street foods, sweets and drinks, snacks and local delicacies, and lots of foodstuffs to sample. There is also a great range of souveneir shops and specialty shops - there is a fantastic chopstick shop where they will [tastefully] engrave your chopsticks with a name in Japanese lettering - they had a great range and it was well priced.
There are many locals wondering around (often with their dogs appropriately dressed for the outing) and some tourists. Even though its an attraction in the town, it was not overrun with tourists and I was able to talk to a couple of locals who spoke english. It was a great way to start the day - tasting food samples, drinking tea and iced coffee, and eating the most amazing 'japanese marshmallows' from the most enthusiastic little japanese man - these are a must try local specialty, and the english translation of how he makes them is beautiful.
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