What To Do In Takayama


Immerse your self within the breathtaking great thing about Takayama, a small metropolis positioned within the mountainous Hida area of Gifu Prefecture. Takayama boasts one among Japan’s most picturesque townscapes, wealthy historical past, and plenty of well-known festivals. Be part of us for a tour of the morning market, savor some scrumptious eats, and benefit from the Edo interval constructions and large pageant floats.

Takayama Yatai Kaikan floats for Takayama Festival

Takayama (飛騨高山), positioned in Gifu Prefecture, was the ultimate vacation spot of our 1-week journey within the Hokuriku space. Earlier than arriving in Takayama, we had made stops in Kanazawa, Tateyama, and the majestic Kurobe Gorge. We have been keen to go to Takayama for a number of causes:

  • We couldn’t wait to calm down in an onsen (scorching springs), and eat Kaiseki Ryori and Hida beef.
  • Our household adores stunning mountain surroundings and historic Japanese cities; Takayama has retained its attraction for over 400 years.
  • Takayama is a metropolis steeped in Japanese tradition and historical past, and it hosts one of the crucial well-known festivals in Japan.

Since there’s fairly a bit to share, we’ll do that over 4 posts.

  1. Covers the northern a part of the town
  2. Focuses on the town heart space
  3. Share our expertise with the resort and the meals we loved
  4. Talks about our facet tour to Shirakawago (白川郷).

Transportation to Takayama

From Toyama, we took the JR Hida line (JR飛騨線) to achieve Takayama. The journey lasts both round 90 minutes or 2 hours relying on the departure time. The scenic route presents picturesque Japanese countryside and mountain greenery. The spacious and comfy seats on the prepare make for a soothing journey. If touring from Nagoya, it’s a couple of 2.5-hour prepare journey to Takayama.

Issues to do in Takayama

Takayama is comparatively small in comparison with different vacationer locations in Japan. For instance, in Kyoto and Kanazawa, guests usually have to take the bus to go to numerous points of interest. Nevertheless, in Takayama, there’s no want for public transportation. Nearly all in style factors of curiosity are inside a 15-minute stroll from our resort.

Able to go sightseeing? We dropped our luggage on the resort and made our manner over to Miyagawa Morning Market.

Miyagawa Morning Market (宮川朝市)

Miyagawa Morning Market is located alongside the Miyagawa River close to the city heart. It’s the bigger of the 2 morning markets in Takayama.

Each markets shut at midday, so be certain that to reach by 10 AM to discover the choices. Why the midday closure? Many of the produce cubicles are operated by native farmers, and they should return to their farms within the afternoon. These markets cater not solely to vacationers but in addition to the native residents, which provides to the attract.

On the south entrance of the market, there are cubicles lining the left facet of the river. Guests should purchase native produce, seasonal fruits, greens, meals, and flowers.

On the alternative facet of the cubicles, there are shops promoting native specialties, souvenirs, preserved greens, materials, artisan bowls, and ceramic wares. With so many choices accessible, what did we find yourself shopping for? We determined to buy miso with hoba leaves (朴葉味噌) as a result of it’s not one thing generally discovered within the Tokyo space.

Right here’s the recipe should you’re and you should buy hoba leaves from nihon ichiban.

Kusakabe Heritage Home (日下部民藝館)

Kusakabe Heritage House interior architecture and design

After shopping the Miyagawa Morning Market, we headed over to Kusakabe Mingeikan (Kusakabe Heritage Home, 日下部民藝館) and Yoshijima-ke (Yoshijima Heritage Home, 吉島家住宅). These two constructions are positioned subsequent to one another. These two historic buildings have been each constructed throughout the Meiji interval. They’re necessary Japanese cultural belongings as prime examples of Meiji-era structure.

As each homes are pretty related, browse one or the opposite. We determined to go to Kusakabe Heritage Home. Right here, the doorway price is 1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for highschool college students, and 300 yen for youthful kids (as of 2023).

The construction was constructed by the Kusakabe household, a extremely profitable service provider household that had offered monetary assist to the general public workplace. Sadly, the unique constructing burnt down in 1875, however the present construction has stood since 1879. The home was designed by grasp carpenter Jisuke Kawashiri to resemble Edo interval constructions. Inside the home, we might see the spectacular large pillars that supported the constructing.

Guests can discover the varied rooms within the heritage home and go upstairs, the place antiques are displayed.

Between the principle home and the warehouse within the again (which has extra antiques on show), there’s a small courtyard the place guests can calm down and luxuriate in tea as a part of the expertise.

Osenbei Manufacturing facility – Yume Kojo Hida 夢工場飛騨

Only a few blocks from Kusakabe Heritage Home is Yume Kojo Hida. It’s a senbei manufacturing facility the place guests could make their very own scrumptious and crispy senbei.

Have you ever tried the Japanese rice cracker referred to as Osenbei (お煎餅)? It’s a grilled rice cracker dipped in soy sauce for a savory, umami taste. It’s so scrumptious with inexperienced tea for a day snack.

On the manufacturing facility, guests sit by rows of furnaces, grilling the senbei dough slowly on electrical grills. Staff exhibit the method and supply tricks to keep away from burning. Every senbei takes solely 1-2 minutes to cook dinner, so we now have to work quick to stop burning. Our kids had a good time grilling and having fun with the senbei they made.

After consuming our share of senbei, our household visited Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine and the close by Takayama Pageant Float Exhibition Corridor.

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine (櫻山八幡宮)

The historical past of Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine dates again to 400 AD, and it stands as a big cultural and non secular landmark in Takayama. Enlarged by Lord Kanamori (大名金森氏) in 1683, it is without doubt one of the hottest shrines in Takayama. It attracts over 1.5 million guests every year. After passing by means of the primary gate, a stone path and steps result in the shrine.

Alongside the stone path, there are a couple of shops and eating places. Fortunately, it was very peaceable that day, with few guests round. We took our time to admire the attractive historic structure and the tranquility of the grounds.

Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan 高山祭屋台会館

Takayama Yatai Kaikan floats for Takayama Festival

Proper subsequent to the shrine is Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan, also referred to as the Takayama Pageant Floats Exhibition Corridor. The doorway price is 900 yen for adults and 450 yen for kids. Takayama is famend for its spring and fall festivals, and it hosts one of many three nice festivals in Japan. They’re Takayama Matsuri alongside Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and Chichibu Yomatsuri. One is held on April 14th and fifteenth, whereas the opposite takes place on October ninth and tenth, with the previous being the extra in style pageant.

The museum has acquired particular permission to show 4 of the autumn pageant floats, rotated thrice a 12 months. Every float additionally has a reputation, and at Yatai Kaikan, there’s an English clarification of the background story for the actual float. The floats are spectacular up shut, with a few of them as excessive as a 3-story constructing.

Takayama Yatai Kaikan floats for Takayama Festival

Takayama Pageant Floats

The “Mikoshi” (神輿) float above is a transportable shrine. It weighs about 2.5 tons and requires as much as 80 folks to hold. Because it’s difficult to seek out 80 folks of the identical peak, a alternative float is used throughout the pageant.

The float under is one among our favorites, referred to as “Hotei-tai” (布袋台). It options dancing collectible figurines, Hotei 布袋 (Laughing Buddha with the Huge Stomach – it’s one among Japan’s Seven Fortunate Gods), and Karako 唐子 (a boy who wears Chinese language-style garments).

It’s operated by eight folks and 36 strings. In the course of the pageant, the collectible figurines come to life, leaping and dancing.

The next float is without doubt one of the most treasured because of its historic significance, because the hanging scroll was imported throughout the Ming Dynasty from China.

Takayama Yatai Kaikan floats for Takayama Festival

We additionally noticed a couple of “Yatai Gura” (屋台蔵), the place they retailer the floats when not used for festivals. In entrance of every storage unit, there’s a image of what the float saved inside seems like.

Higashiyama Strolling Course 東山寺町・東山遊歩道

It’s time to move outdoor and go for a hike. Begin by heading in direction of the southeastern a part of the town to discover the Higashiyama Strolling Course. The course takes guests by means of a number of historic temples and shrines. You would possibly marvel why they’re all clustered on this space. In 1588, as Lord Kanamori (大名金森氏) started developing Takayama Citadel (高山城) and the city heart, the temples and shrines have been relocated to the jap hills.

In complete, there are 16 temples right here, various in age from 500 to 1,300 years, showcasing the wealthy heritage of Takayama. We have been blown away by all of it!

After we completed strolling the course, it bought late within the afternoon, so we headed again to the resort to soak within the onsen (scorching springs) and prepare for our scrumptious dinner.

Are you prepared for Half 2 of Takayama (飛騨高山)? We’ll be exploring extra shrines, the well-known Sanmachi Suji District (often called Takayama Outdated City), and Takayama Jinya! Let’s go!

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