What to do in Takayama

Takayama still retains a small part of traditional Japan, with its wooden houses and narrow streets from the Edo period.

Mti, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Takayama Jinya is a historical building located in the city of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. This Edo-period building was the regional headquarters of the Japanese government and is now considered a National Cultural Heritage Site. Inside, visitors can admire the well-preserved original structure, traditional gardens and rooms decorated with historical artefacts. Takayama Jinya is a must-see for lovers of Japanese history and culture, where details of life in the past can be observed. It is located near the historical centre of Takayama and is easily accessible for visitors.

Photo by Japanforeveryone.com

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
Official website
8:45-17:00 (November to February until 16:30, in August until 18:00)
29 December to 3 January
440 Yen
10 minutes’ walk east of JR station

The Hida village, also known as Hida no Sato, is a fascinating tourist attraction located in the city of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. This traditional village is a living exhibition of Japanese rural houses, all originating in the Hida area. Here, visitors can stroll among traditional wooden houses, immersing themselves in the atmosphere of rural Japan. The village also offers craft demonstrations, such as woodworking and weaving, allowing visitors to appreciate traditional arts and crafts. Hida village is a fascinating place to discover authentic Japanese culture and to spend a pleasant day immersed in history.

Photo by Japanforeveryone.com

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
Official website
8:30-17:00
No closing days
700 Yen
30 minutes’ walk south-west of JR station
Take the “Sarubobo Bus” which takes you to the village in 10 minutes (100 Yen)

Sake Distilleries

Sake is one of Takayama’s local specialities. Several old sake distilleries can be found in the old town of Takayama. They can be recognised by the sugidama (balls made of cedar branches) hanging above the entrance. Small samples of sake can be bought from some brewers.

Practical information

Fujii Art Gallery

The Fujii Bijutsu Mingeikan is an art gallery located in the city of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The gallery exhibits artwork by contemporary and traditional Japanese artists, with an emphasis on ceramic works. The collection also includes Japanese folk art objects, such as dolls, textiles and tin plates. The Fujii Art Gallery is an ideal place for art enthusiasts who wish to discover Japanese artistic culture and admire the works of prestigious artists.

Fujii Bijutsu Mingei-kan03ds3200

663highland, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
9:00-17:00
No closing days
700 Yen
15 minutes’ walk east of JR station

Museum of Local History (Takayama Hakubutsukan)

The Takayama Museum of Local History explores the history of the city through an extensive collection of ancient objects, including archaeological finds, cultural artefacts and local craft treasures. The museum has a hall dedicated to local celebrations such as the Float Chariot Festival and the Spring Dancers Festival. The Takayama Local History Museum is a fascinating cultural attraction for history buffs and those who want to learn more about the city.

Takayama-shi kyodokan02n3200

663highland, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
9:00-19:00
No closing days
Free
20 minutes’ walk east of JR station

Hachiman Shrine

Sakurayama Hachiman, also known as Sakurayama Hachimangu, is an important Shinto shrine located. This ancient shrine is nestled in a picturesque natural setting and offers a panoramic view of the city of Takayama. Visitors can admire the traditional sacred buildings, imposing torii and beautiful surrounding gardens. Sakurayama Hachiman is a place of prayer and tranquillity, but also a tourist attraction that allows visitors to immerse themselves in Japanese spirituality and culture.

Sakurayama-hachimangu Takayama Gifu pref02n3960

663highland, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
Official website
Always open
No closing days
Free
20 minutes’ walk north-east of JR station

Takayama Yatai Kaikan

The Kaikan Takayama Yatai is a must-see for visitors to Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. This building houses the famous float carts, called yatai, used during the Takayama Float Cart Festival. Inside the Kaikan, you can admire these impressive artistic float floats, which are considered cultural treasures of Japan, up close. The intricate details and colourful decorations of the yatai catch the eye and tell the story of Takayama’s history and tradition. The Kaikan Takayama Yatai is a unique place to immerse yourself in the culture and splendour of this traditional festival.

Takayama festival Yatai Kaikan No,5

Mti, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
Official website
9:00-17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
No closing days
1000 Yen
20 minutes’ walk north-east of JR station

Kusakabe Heritage House

The Kusakabe Heritage House, also known as Kusakabe Mingeikan, is a traditional house, dating back to the 19th century, was the residence of a wealthy merchant family. It is now open to the public as a museum and displays the architecture and lifestyle of the time. The well-preserved interior, with its natural materials and beautiful artwork, offers a valuable window into Takayama’s past. A visit to the Kusakabe Heritage House is a unique opportunity to travel back in time and discover local history and culture.

Maison Kusakabe-02

Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
Official website
9:00-16:30 (until 16:00 from December to February)
Tuesdays from December to February
1000 Yen
15 minutes’ walk north-east of JR station

Yoshijima Heritage House

The Yoshijima Heritage House, also known as Yoshijima-ke, is a historic traditional house located in Takayama. This ancestral samurai house offers an interesting insight into traditional Japanese life and architecture. The sumptuous interiors and beautiful gardens reveal a rich cultural heritage. A visit to the Yoshijima Heritage House is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and elegance of ancient Japan.

Takayama city , 高山市内 - panoramio (18)

z tanuki, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
9:00-17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
Every Tuesday from December to February
29 December to 1 January
500 Yen
15 minutes’ walk north-east of JR station

Takayama morning markets

There are two morning markets (Asaichi) in Takayama, one in front of the Takayama Jinya and one along the Miyagawa River. Most stalls sell local handicrafts and agricultural products such as vegetables, pickles and flowers.

JP-Takayama-morgenmarkt

Practical information

7:00-12:00 (8:00 from December to March)
No closing days

Higashiyama Walk

The Higashiyama walk is a pleasant route through the temples of the city (Teramachi), Shiroyama Park, the wooded hill and the site of the former Takayama Castle. The route is about 3.5 km long.

Photo by Japanforeveryone.com

Practical information

View location on Google Maps
30 minutes’ walk east of JR station

Takayama Festival (Matsuri)

The Takayama Matsuri is one of the most famous festivals in Japan, held in the city of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. The festival is held twice a year, in spring and autumn, and welcomes visitors and tourists from all over the world. The highlight of the festival are the artistic floats, called yatai, which are paraded through the streets of the city. The yatai are beautifully decorated with local textiles and ceramics, and illuminate the city at night. The Takayama Matsuri is an exciting experience celebrating Japanese tradition and culture.

The Spring Festival (14-15 April) is the annual celebration of the Hie shrine in the southern part of Takayama’s old town. While the shrine is also known as Sanno-sama, the Spring Festival is also called Sannō Matsuri. Similarly, the Autumn Festival (9-10 October) is the annual festival of the Hachiman Shrine in the northern half of the old town, and the festival is also known as the Hachiman Festival.

Jimma-tai detail, Hachiman shrine - Takayama Festival Float Exhibition Hall - Takayama, Gifu, Japan - DSC06587

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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