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20 Things To Do In Takayama

things to do in takayama

Here are fun things to do in Takayama! Check it out! 

Takayama Old Town, also known as Sannomachi, is a beautifully preserved district dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The narrow streets are lined with traditional merchant houses, characterized by latticed windows and wooden structures. 

As you wander through the cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter sake breweries, tea houses, and various shops selling local crafts, souvenirs, and traditional Japanese snacks. 

The area is particularly enchanting during the spring cherry blossom season and the autumn foliage.

Things To Do In Takayama

Visit Takayama Jinya

Takayama Jinya served as the local government headquarters during the Edo period and is the only remaining building of its kind in Japan. This historic site provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s administrative history. 

Visitors can explore the tatami mat rooms, witness the functioning water clock, and stroll through the beautiful surrounding gardens.

Witness the Takayama Festival

The Takayama Festival, held twice a year in April and October, is one of Japan’s most famous and elaborate festivals. 

The highlight of the festival is the parade of beautifully adorned floats, known as yatai, showcasing intricate craftsmanship, traditional performances, and mechanical marionettes. 

The festival attracts both locals and tourists, creating a lively and festive atmosphere in the city.

Matsuri-no-Mori Museum

To enhance your understanding of the Takayama Festival, the Matsuri-no-Mori Museum is a dedicated space showcasing the festival’s history and cultural significance. 

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The museum features exhibits with detailed explanations of the floats, costumes, and performances, using audiovisual presentations to immerse visitors in the festive ambiance.

Visit the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum

Housed in a historic merchant’s residence, the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum offers a comprehensive display of traditional Japanese crafts. 

The museum showcases exquisite lacquerware, textiles, ceramics, and woodworking, providing insight into the craftsmanship and artistry that flourished in Takayama over the centuries.

Visit the Sarubobo Shrine

 Sarubobo Shrine

The Sarubobo Shrine is dedicated to the iconic Sarubobo dolls, red, faceless figurines believed to bring good luck and happiness. Visitors can purchase these adorable dolls as souvenirs and explore the peaceful surroundings of the shrine.

Explore Hida Folk Village

Hida Folk Village is an open-air museum located on the outskirts of Takayama. The village features over 30 traditional thatched-roof houses, showcasing the architectural style of the Hida region. 

Visitors can explore the interiors of these well-preserved homes, gaining insights into the daily life and customs of the past.

Go Shopping in the Sanmachi Suji District

Sanmachi Suji is the bustling district where visitors can indulge in shopping and dining. 

Traditional Japanese storefronts line the streets, offering a variety of local crafts, souvenirs, and specialty foods. Sake enthusiasts can also explore the district’s breweries and sample regional sake varieties.

Visit the Hida Takayama Museum of Art

Art lovers will appreciate the Hida Takayama Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of both traditional and contemporary Japanese artworks. 

The museum’s serene setting allows visitors to appreciate the aesthetic beauty and cultural richness of the region.

Savor Hida Beef

Hida Beef is a premium Japanese beef known for its exceptional marbling and tenderness. 

Takayama is renowned for its Hida Beef, and visitors can enjoy it in various forms, from sukiyaki and shabu-shabu to grilled dishes. Local restaurants and eateries offer a delectable Hida Beef culinary experience.

Slurp Down Takayama Ramen

Takayama Ramen is a regional specialty known for its soy-based broth and thin, curly noodles. 

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Toppings often include green onions, bamboo shoots, and tender slices of Hida Pork. The savory and comforting flavors make it a must-try dish in Takayama.

Explore Morning Markets at Takayama

The Morning Markets are a lively affair where local vendors gather to sell fresh produce, crafts, and traditional snacks. It’s a great opportunity to interact with locals, sample seasonal fruits, and get a taste of the vibrant community atmosphere in Takayama.

Discover Sake Breweries at Takayama

Takayama is home to several sake breweries, each with its unique brewing techniques and flavors. 

Take a guided tour to witness the sake-making process, from fermentation to bottling, and participate in tastings to appreciate the diverse profiles of Takayama’s sake.

Try Takayama’s Local Sweets

Indulge your sweet tooth with Takayama’s local confections. From Hida chestnut sweets to Mitarashi dango (skewered rice dumplings with sweet soy glaze), these treats offer a delightful blend of traditional flavors and textures.

Explore Shirakawa-go

A short journey from Takayama, Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Gassho-zukuri farmhouses. 

These traditional thatched-roof houses, designed to withstand heavy snowfall, create a picturesque scene against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains. Visitors can tour the village, exploring the interiors of these well-preserved structures.

Hike in Kamikochi

Nature enthusiasts can venture to Kamikochi, a stunning alpine valley surrounded by the Northern Japan Alps. 

Hiking trails lead through pristine landscapes, providing opportunities to enjoy the clear mountain air, spot wildlife, and admire the breathtaking scenery.

Hike to the Top of Mount Gujo

For panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, embark on a hike to the top of Mount Gujo. The ascent rewards hikers with sweeping vistas of the mountains, valleys, and the charming town of Takayama below.

Relax in Gero Onsen

Gero Onsen, located near Takayama, is one of Japan’s top hot spring resorts. The town offers a variety of baths, both public and private, with mineral-rich waters believed to have therapeutic properties. 

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After a day of exploration, unwind in the soothing hot springs and experience the traditional Japanese onsen culture.

Visit Hida-Furukawa

A short trip from Takayama, Hida-Furukawa is a charming town with a well-preserved historic district. 

Stroll through its Edo-period streets, visit sake breweries, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of this lesser-known gem.

Go Skiing or Snowboarding in Takayama

During the winter months, Takayama and its surrounding areas transform into a snowy paradise. Ski enthusiasts can head to nearby resorts to enjoy the powdery slopes and engage in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Things To Do In Takayama: FAQs

Why is Takayama famous?

Takayama is famous for its well-preserved Edo-period architecture, rich cultural heritage, and the celebrated Takayama Festival, making it a unique destination for history and culture enthusiasts.

Is Takayama worth going to?

Absolutely! Takayama offers a multifaceted experience, combining history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Japanese experience.

Is one day in Takayama enough?

While one day allows you to explore the main attractions, consider spending at least two days to fully immerse yourself in Takayama’s charm and explore its surrounding areas.

Is Takayama closer to Tokyo or Kyoto?

Takayama is located roughly in the middle of Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s accessible by train from both cities, making it a convenient stop for travelers exploring the Chubu region.

Conclusion

Takayama stands as a testament to Japan’s rich cultural tapestry, offering a harmonious blend of history, culinary delights, and natural beauty. 

Whether wandering through its historic streets, savoring local delicacies, or immersing oneself in the tranquil onsen culture, Takayama provides an authentic and unforgettable experience. Plan your visit wisely to make the most of this captivating destination.

Written by Rasmiya

My writing focuses on the various aspects of Japanese lifestyle, from traditional tea ceremonies and flower arrangement to modern fashion trends and pop culture. Through my articles, I aim to share my passion for Japan and provide readers with a glimpse into the rich and diverse world of Japanese culture.

I believe that the key to understanding Japanese lifestyle is to appreciate the balance between tradition and innovation. While Japan has a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries, it is also a country that is constantly evolving and embracing new ideas and technologies.

Whether you're interested in learning about the latest fashion trends in Tokyo, or want to explore the ancient art of calligraphy, my writing will take you on a journey through the many facets of Japanese lifestyle. So join me as we explore the beauty and complexity of this fascinating culture together!

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