Takayama is located in Gifu Prefecture, in the mountainous region of Hida. As it is located in a more isolated and inaccessible region, Takayama has preserved its architecture and some of its own traditions. The city’s highlight goes to the super charming historic center from the Edo period, which today houses several interesting shops, to the sake distilleries where you can have tastings. Prepare your jacket for Japan Takayama tours, as it is colder here than in other regions of the main island of Japan.
How long to stay in Takayama?
Takayama is a very small city. It is perfect for staying over the night. It is easy to explore the main points of interest in a single day, but make sure you are there from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, when the city is livelier and shops and attractions are open. If you do not want to go through Shirakawa-go, one night is enough. Three nights seems like too much time for Takayama. You can easily spent 2 days.
The old center of Takayama is Takayama Sanmachi-Suji and is, in our opinion, the coolest tour in town. It is three streets with buildings from the Edo period, and you really feel like you are in a city that has stopped in time when you walk there. Do you know Japan from our imagination? They appear all the time in Takayama.
Some of these little houses in the old center are home to shops, markets and restaurants. Set aside time and prepare your pocket because they are all very good and with lots of beautiful and well-made things. Some are specialized in incense. Others in chopsticks, others in porcelain, souvenirs and the coolest thing, there are many sake distilleries there.
Besides commerce, some of the buildings remained same, are open for visitation by the public. They are called Heritage Houses. Among them, Yoshijima Heritage House is famous. It belongs to a wealthy merchant. He lends money and also produce sake. Entry costs 500 yen, and do not be alarmed if the place looks closed from the outside. If you are going during opening hours, you can go in and someone will be inside.
The city of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture is famous for the fantastic spring and autumn festivals that have been taking place since the 16th century and revolve around the local harvest. If you visit the city at festival time, you can admire incredible floats, hundreds of paper and silk lanterns, and lively puppet shows. Be sure to visit the historic and commercial area of Sanmachi-Suji, which is full of tourists attracted by handicraft shops, sake factories and traditional buildings. Do not forget to visit Shirakawa-go, a village located in the Ono district.
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine is near to Yoshijima Heritage House. Go to the Takayama Yatai Kankan, a large shed where the Yatai are displayed, which are the famous floats used during the Takayama Festival in spring and autumn. UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity considers them.
In short, each place in Japan is spectacular. Takayama attracts mostly ski and snow lovers.