Takayama is a lovely little mountain town in Gifu prefecture, in the Hida region of Japan. I went in November, when the world-famous Japanese foliage is at its best. The locals refer to it as "momiji", the name of the Japanese maple tree, which has the most stunning colors. If you are to visit this area, autumn may be the best time to do it. The ride on the train to Takayama is surrounded by forests, and the actual town is as well. The scenery is unbelievable. Mid to late November is a better time to see it.
"World Heritage Site"
Takayama is one of the many Japanese World Heritage Sites protected by UNESCO. In Takayama, the heritage site is the old town. After WWII, much of Japan was rebuilt, and the old, traditional wooden houses were replaced by more modern, sterile mass production buildings. Takayama escaped all of that, thankfully. There are 3 main streets in the center of the old town that are closed off to traffic, and are a living testament to what Japan used to look like. The houses are lovely rustic, wooden houses. Most of them house shops of various trades in the first floor, however there were quite a few residences on these streets as well. There are a few museums in these streets as well, that allow you to take a closer look at these houses and how the Japanese lifestyle was.