Takayama is a gorgeous little town, with quite a few beautiful historical buildings. It's also the centre of the Hida beef region and we went to a restaurant where we had a dish called Hoba Miso. Each person got a little ceramic stove, heated by some form of candle or fuel that gave off quite a bit of heat – enough to cook slowly on. On top of the stove was a mesh plate covered in foil, and on top of this was the hoba – a large magnolia leaf. On this was miso paste, onions, tofu, bean sprouts and thin slices of Hida beef. Once it started cooking you tossed it around until it was cooked to your satisfaction. It was absolutely delicious.