Hida Takayama, Gifu Prefecture


Takayama, also known as Hida-Takayama, is a beautiful city with traditional Japanese old towns preserved from the Edo period. I’ve always had my eyes on this place since I love quaint little towns. It was very exciting to finally visit it.

My trip began when I landed in Tokyo Narita Airport. I took the NEX train to Shinagawa station, then the Shinkansen to Nagoya station. I stayed at Toyoko Inn Nagoya-eki Shinkansen-guchi, which was walking distance from Nagoya Station (I will write more about this great hotel in a later post).  After a restful night of sleep, I headed to Takayama from Nagoya Station the next morning via the hourly JR Hida limited express train. It was bit of a long ride (150 mins) but at least it was a direct train. From Takayama station, you can get a map of the town. There’s also an information center with helpful staff, and you can even answer a survey and get free wifi.

Free wifi at Takayama : http://www.hida.jp/english/practical-guide/wifi

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Hida-Takayama

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The Old Town is just a short walk from Takayama Station. The buildings and houses on these streets date back to the Edo period (1600-1800’s), especially the Sannomachi Street. This part of the town is not large (seemed smaller than Kyoto’s Ninenzaka, Sannenzaka), but you can still spend quite sometime exploring.

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Store that sells hand-made arts and crafts and other house hold items.

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A store that sells items made from traditional Japanese cloth.

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Resting room inside a cool sake brewery

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Sushi made of Hida beef (a famous local wagyu beef).  It is lightly blowtorched on the outside. Delicious!

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Takayama Jinya. This local landmark served as a government office in the Edo period. It is now open to public as a museum, but one must remove their shoes before going in. Inside the building was spotlessly clean and everything seemed well-looked after.

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Takayama Jinya

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Takayama Jinya

Overall, beautiful town, and would’ve been even better if there were less people. If you only have 7-10 days in Japan, this is probably not a must-do. However if you have some more time to explore, this is a fantastic place to see buildings from Edo period, shop for souvenir at unique local stores, and try the Hida beef!