The best things to do in Takayama
Takayama is a charming city located in the mountainous region of Gifu, Japan. Known for its well-preserved traditional architecture, beautiful temples, and delicious local food, Takayama is a must-visit destination for those interested in Japanese culture and history. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful city. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best things to do in Takayama.

Explore the Old Town

One of the most popular things to do in Takayama is to explore the city’s well-preserved old town. This area is home to many traditional wooden buildings, some of which date back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Strolling through the narrow streets and taking in the sights of the beautiful architecture is a great way to get a feel for the city’s history and culture.

Visit the Morning Markets

Another must-do activity in Takayama is to visit the morning markets. These markets are held daily and offer a wide variety of local goods, including fresh produce, crafts, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to pick up some unique gifts or try some of the local specialties.

See the Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village

For a glimpse into the traditional way of life in the Hida region, be sure to visit the Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village. This open-air museum features a collection of traditional houses, farmhouses, and workshops that have been moved from their original locations and restored to their former glory. Visitors can explore the houses, see demonstrations of traditional crafts, and learn about the history and culture of the Hida region.

Take a Walk Along the Miya River

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Takayama is to take a walk along the Miya River. This picturesque river flows through the heart of the city and is lined with cherry trees and other beautiful vegetation. Walking along the river is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peaceful scenery.

Visit the Takayama Jinya

Built in 1615, the Takayama Jinya is a former government office that served as the administrative center of the Hida region during the Edo period. Today, the Jinya is open to the public and offers a glimpse into the life and work of the government officials who once lived and worked there. Visitors can see the living quarters, offices, and other rooms, as well as learn about the history of the Jinya and the Hida region.

Try Local Food

No trip to Takayama would be complete without trying some of the local food. Some of the must-try dishes include Hida beef, a type of high-quality beef that is known for its tenderness and rich flavor; Hida soba, a type of soba noodle made with local buckwheat flour; and Hida sake, a type of rice wine that is made in the region.

Visit the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall

The Takayama Festival, held twice a year in April and October, is one of the most famous festivals in Japan, known for its beautiful floats and traditional performances. Even if you’re not able to visit during the festival,the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall is a must-see. The hall houses a collection of the festival’s floats, which are intricately decorated with carvings, gold leaf, and other intricate details. Visitors can also learn about the history and significance of the festival, as well as see demonstrations of traditional float-making techniques.

Visit the Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine

Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine is a beautiful Shinto shrine located on the top of a hill overlooking the city. The shrine is known for its stunning views and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the grounds, admire the traditional architecture, and make a wish at the main hall.

Take a Day Trip to the Shirakawago

The nearby village of Shirakawago is another must-see destination in the area. Known for its traditional thatched-roof houses, the village is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life in the region. Visitors can take a stroll through the village and admire the houses, as well as learn about the history and culture of the area.

Relax at a Traditional Onsen

Last but not least, one of the best ways to relax and unwind after a busy day of sightseeing is to visit a traditional onsen (hot spring). Takayama is home to several onsen, and many of them offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Soaking in the warm waters is a great way to ease sore muscles and relax after a busy day of exploring.

In conclusion, Takayama is a charming and unique city with a rich history and culture. From exploring the well-preserved old town to visiting traditional festivals, there is plenty to see and do. So if you’re planning a trip to Japan, be sure to add Takayama to your itinerary for an unforgettable experience.