Takayama is a Japanese city in Gifu Prefecture, located in the heart of the Hida Mountains in the Japanese Alps, on the main island Honshu. With its full name Hida-Takayama, this ancient feudal city is confirmed as an increasingly popular rural and historical tourist destination. Its festival, one of the three most beautiful in Japan, is celebrated in spring and autumn. You can go for your japan takayama tours then.
Takayama has kept the traditions that make the charm of small Japanese neighborhoods. Nicknamed the “little Kyoto “, because of its checkerboard streets modeled on the former imperial capital, it reveals a very rich historical heritage. It is relatively easy to find your way around.
Attraction of the Old Town
The Old Town welcomes travelers along the Miyagawa River, with its two to three main shopping axes lined with buildings dating from the Edo period. The old wooden private residences including Takayama Jinya, the regional government office during the time when the Tokugawa Shoguns were in power, alternate with artisan shops, restaurants and sake breweries.
For early risers, the morning markets come alive in a friendly atmosphere while giving pride of place to local agriculture: mainly fruits, vegetables and fresh flowers. Like that of Kobe, beef from Hida is an exceptional gastronomic discovery; it is possible to enjoy it in different forms: raw in sashimi, cooked in steak or grilled on a skewer!
The Takayama Festival
Ranked among the three most beautiful in Japan, the Takayama festival takes place through two annual editions: in spring and in autumn. In the northeast of the city, the museum of the festival floats is worth the detour since it is entirely dedicated to the traveling shrines and pageantry used during the processions. But from the station, there is a hall-museum in the preamble.
To the southwest, on the other side of the station, the folk village of Hida (Hida no Sato) is an authentic open-air museum where you can visit around thirty traditional houses in the gassho-zukuri style recognizable by their snow-resistant thatched roof.
What to Do In Takayama, Japan
Now that you have all the information you need to organize your trip to Takayama, let’s start the tour with a charming traditional village located on the outskirts of town.
Hida Folk Village
Hida Folk Village is located approximately 2 kilometers west of downtown Takayama. To get there, you can take the Sarubobo bus from the town’s train station. The journey takes 10 minutes and will cost you ¥ 210 ($ 1.5) one way. There are 2 buses per hour from the station (battery operated and 40) every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. You may take a bus trip and the other on foot to fully discover the region and visit the following places.
But Before Going To The Village, What Is This “Hida” That We See All Over Takayama?
It is in fact the name of the old province of which Takayama was the capital. A whole culture had developed in the north of present-day Gifu prefecture and it is still referred to today when talking about the culture of Hida. Hida is therefore the northern region of Gifu which has particular traditions but without being a fully-fledged prefecture at the administrative level. And to discover what Hida culture is, nothing better than going to the Hida folk village. And as soon as you enter, you will be amazed with a panoramic view of the entire village and a real open-air museum.