Takayama, also known as “little Kyoto”, is located in the northern part of Gifu prefecture. Locals often call it Hida Takayama to differentiate with other places also named Takayama. The city is blessed with a combination of amazing natural scenes and unique culture mixed between Edo and Kyoto culture. If you are looking for a short getaway from the hectic city life, Takayama should definitely be one of your first destinations choices. It will take you back to the Edo era when you visit the renowned Sanno-machi Historic District and Takayama festivals, regarded as one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan. You can have a taste of the area’s history by witnessing local people carrying giant floats, dated back hundreds of years ago and beautifully crafted by skilled artisan.
On top of that, Hida Takayama is a convenient base for you to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, the historic village Shirakawago Gasshozukuri, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and Kanazawa.
[ Bus ] Shinjuku station == (5h30min) ==> Hida Takayama
[ Train ] Tokyo station == (JR Tokaido Shinkansen, 2h) ==> Nagoya station == (JR Takayama Line, 2h26min) ==> Takayama
[ Bus ] Osaka station == (5h12min) ==> Hida Takayama
[ Train ] Shin Osaka station == (JR Tokaido Shinkansen, 49min) ==> Nagoya station == (JR Takayama Line, 2h26min) ==> Takayama
You can stay in Tayakama city for 2 nights, join city tour on the first day, and then join Shirakawago tour on the next day. The choices of accommodation available in Takayama is abundant. You can either stay in ryokan (Japanese-style) and Western-style hotels. Below accommodations are some of our popular choices for you to relax.
Hotels: Hida Plaza Hotel, Hida Takayama Washington Hotel Plaza, Best Western Hotel Takayama, Hotel Associa Takayama Resort,…
Ryokan: Hoshokaku, Hidatei Hanaougi, Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan, Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan,…
Gassho zukuri houses in Shirakawago and Gokayama. It is recommended to book as early as possible since this type of accommodation’s availability is very limited.
You will be surrounded by traditional old merchant houses built in Edo period and stunned by the harmonious mixture of a historic town and green mountains surrounding this small town. There are many souvenir shops along the way. An artisan will be delighted to customize wooden key chain for you to bring back home. Many of the customers order to make sarubobo dolls, which is a symbol of Takayama, dressed in different professional outfits.
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Access: 10-min walk from Takayama station
It is 10 min by bus from Takayama station. This 99,000 sqm open –air museum will bring you back to a village in Edo period (1603-1867). You can imagine how the people in hundreds of years ago live and entertain by visiting these thatched-roof houses and try hands-on experience, like playing traditional games, trying on the clothes.
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Access: 12 min by Takayama Nouhi Bus from JR Takayama. Get off at “Hida no Sato” stop.
There are two markets that you can visit while staying here. One takes place in front of Takayama shrine, which was established 300 years ago, and the other one at Miyagawa River side. You can find local specialties, fruits and pickles, souvenirs in these tiny stalls by local people. Make sure to not miss the Hida apple juice sold in front of the Takayama shrine.
Opening Hours: Early morning till noon
Access: In front of Takayama shrine. 10 min on foot from Takayama station
Registered as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, they are known for their thick thatched roof houses. It is most convenient to visit both Shirakawago and Ogimachi or Gokayama villages by joining a day tour, especially in winter time. You do not have to worry about catching bus back to Takayama, unless you have already secured a room in one of these traditional houses, which is sold out very fast. Since the village is located in a valley in a mountainous area, temperature could drop below freezing point. Shirakawago light-up events are organized once a year on weekends in the beginning of February.
Opening Hours: Shops are closed around 5 pm
Access: 50 min by Nouhi expressway shuttle bus
Hida beef and Hoba miso
Hoba in Japanese means Magnolia leaf. The miso, beef (seafood could be an alternative) and some vegetables will be put altogether on a magnolia leaf, and then grilled on a charcoal stove. It is available in most of the restaurants in Takayama. You can even buy some packages of Hoba miso back home as a souvenir or for your own to eat when you miss it after you come back.