Honmachi Shopping Street
Honmachi is Takayama's main shopping street. Though not as historic as the streets across the Miyagawa, this area is still comforting and inviting, with its covered sidewalks, small restaurants selling Hida beef, and shops with local products like crafts, clothing and sake. This was one of our first stops in Takayama, and we visited a liquor store to pick up local craft beers and we had dinner in this area. While not much in Takayama seems to stay open late, Honmachi has some restaurants open until 9pm or later.
The Miya River, or Miyagawa, is the main river through Takayama. Through old Takayama, the river is spanned by several small bridges including Kajibashi, Yanagibashi, Ikadabashi and the famous red Nakabashi. Numerous pools in the river are filled with giant gray and orange carp and ducks. Along the river, you can also find the Miyagawa Morning Market, a favorite spot where locals and tourists mingle.
Shiroyama Park was originally the site of Takayama Castle, which was built from 1588-1600, in use until about 1695 then dismantled. Not much of the castle remains, other than some walls, but the site is an impressive 60 acre park, filled with walking trails and 1,000 cherry trees that bloom in the spring.
At the entrance to the park stands a statue of Kanamori Nagachika, a Japanese samurai, leader of the Kanamori clan, and the founder of Takayama Castle.
Takayama's Old Private Houses
Takayama's Old Private Houses, or Furui-Machi-Nmai, is a historical preservation area east of the Miyagawa River. This was the original area of the planned castle town, centered on Sannomachi Street, where houses, shops, sake breweries, and inn occupy houses that date back to the Edo Period (1600-1868).
This is a great place to walk, take photos, shop, try sake, and really enjoy the town known as Little Kyoto.
Hida No Sato (Hida Folk Village)
Hida No Sato, or Hida Folk Village is famous for its collection of thatch-roofed houses. The small park now with over 30 buildings was opened in 1971 to preserve of the traditional architecture local to the area. For 700 Yen a person, you can visit the park, tour the building, try some local games and crafts, and see artisans producing other crafts. Some of the houses were built as long ago as the 1750s. Displays include a collection of sledges for moving heavy items in the snow, tools for silk production, weaving implements, and other local tools used in daily life.
Miyagawa Morning Market
Miyagawa Morning Market is the larger of two morning markets in central Takayama. While the Jinya-mae market is almost entirely a traditional farmer's market. The Miyagawa market has farm-fresh produce, along with prepared foods, gifts, art, and more spread across 60 stalls stretching 350 meters along the beautiful river.
During our visit we had some fried mochi on a stick and a unique tamagoyaki made with fluffy egg whites and sweet honey cooked crispy on the edges, but soft like a marshmallow in the middle.
Jinya-mae Morning Market
The Jinya-mae morning market was established over 300 years ago. This is the smaller of the two Takayama morning markets, and it sells mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, pickles, and dried foods from local farms.
The old ladies who run most of the market stalls are very friendly ad eager to give samples of their products. We tried some pears from one booth, and they were so delicious, we took 5 home with us. The friendly woman happily gave us an apple for free.
The market opens around 0600 and closes about 1200.
Takayama Jinya was the local government house in Hida Province that reported to the central government in Edo under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The building was originally constructed in the early 1600 as a villa for a local ruler, but the central government administrator sent to Hida to rule had it rebuilt after the centralization of power in 1629. In 1777 the building became the offices of the local government. The building remained in use as a government facility until 1969.
There were as many as 60 government outposts known as jinyas at various times in Japan, but this is the only remaining structure. The main building of the jinya was reconstructed in 1816, and still exists today. Other structures on the site date back to the 1600s. Immediately in front of this historic building is the Takayama morning market known as Jinya-mae.
The Takayama Jinya is open to the public for 420 Yen per person.
Miyagawa Morning Market
Every morning along the eastern bank of the Miyagawa river, merchants put up stalls to sell fresh farm produce, souvenirs, clothes, slippers, pastries and other food items, etc. Both locals and tourists patronize these make-shift stores that operate right up till noon.
The market operates year-round from 6 till noon between Apr. to Oct. and from 7 till noon between Nov. and Mar. If you're already awake by 6 but your hotel won't serve breakfast until 7 am, then this is a great way to pass the time!
- Arts and Culture
There's an old village in Takayama and it gets crowded in the afternoon (students usually have cultural excursion in a weekday and even Saturday). Better go there early in the morning or late afternoon.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Takayama old town
Edo period preserved town and it is even more interesting than the one in Geon kyoto. I loved the souveniers I bought. it's very interesting to walk it in the morrning when its crowded and see it once again after 5 when its empty and beautifull. nutshell " it's no one site in takayama".
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Great limestone cave of Hida
It was really interesting to see this huge 800 m long cave. it takes around 20 mins walking inside and it costs 10 dollars for adults and 5 for elementry school students..opens from 9a.m-4 p.m. there is free parking, around 4 japanese restaurants.
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing
YAKAI IN STORAGE
You can observe and take pictures of the Yakai before the parade(s).
Close to half of them are stored in the Festival Floats Exhibit Hall and the remaining in their own personal Garage tucked away on side streets.
Note: There are Twelve ' Yakai ' total.
THE PUPPET SHOW
The Karakuri Performance takes place at the Otabisho which is in and around Takayama Jinya.
Two performances a day lasting about 20 minutes.
Huge crowds show up so you have to stake out a place at least an hour before the performance to get close enough to see anything.
Yoshijima Heritage House
If you need a break/rest from the Yakai and Parade(s) there are some other things you can look for.
There are a number ( say 5 ) of Heritage Houses which are open to the public such as the Yoshijima Heritage House along with many museums ( say 7) .
There are a number of 'good' restaurant but you have to seek them out.
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