Takayama Things to Do

  • Gassho style houses overlooking Nikko mountain
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Best Rated Things to Do in Takayama

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    Takayama's Sanmachi Suji

    by tigerjapan Written Jan 17, 2005

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    Knickers & Anne Off For A Ride

    Sanmachi Suji are three narrow streets in the center of Takayama's "old town". The streets are lined with traditional buildings, stores, sake breweries and private homes. Some of the buildings house museums on folk art, local history and more. There are also some elegant former merchant houses open to the public. You can sample locally produced sake and stock up on souvenirs.
    A nice alternative to exploring the beautiful area on foot is renting a rickshaw, costing about 3000 Yen for two persons.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Wine Tasting
    • Historical Travel

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    Old Private Houses

    by tigerjapan Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Sanmachi District

    This area of Old Private Houses is known as; Furui-Machi-nami. The Old Priavate Houses are a part of Sanmachi Area.

    In the middle of Sanmachi you will find these beautifully crafted houses of the Edo era. The sake breweries and merchants' houses still stand in their rows and many of them are still used to serve the public. Look at the latticed bay windows of the merchants' houses and feel the rich atmosphere of this old castle town.

    Sanmachi and the "Town Village" stand on the east side of the Miyagawa River.

    This district was designated an area of important traditional buildings by the Japanese Government.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Seniors

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    Hida Folk Village

    by tigerjapan Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Hida-no-sato

    Hida Folk Village (Hida-no-sato) is a model of a Hida folk village. It covers 99,000 square meters and includes National Cultural Treasures and 30 buildings recreating Hida’s historical look. Many of these buildings were transported here from other parts of the region.

    The museum's main attractions are a number of gassho-zukuri houses. The massive farmhouses with their steep, thatched roofs which look like praying hands ("gassho-zukuri") were moved here from the nearby Shirakawago valley.

    All exhibited buildings are carefully preserved and are open to the public to explore. Also, the buildings' indoor fireplaces are lit every morning, making this outstanding open air museum a treat not only for the eyes but also for the nose. The smoke from the fires acts to protect the wood from insects.

    In each building, everyday articles (which are now regarded as folk art) recalling the life and culture of mountain farming villages are displayed.

    The sloped and thatched-roof houses in this open are museum allow us to see what life in the mountains would have been like in the Edo period. This is one museum NOT to be missed for those interested in history and/or Japan.

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    • Architecture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    Free Foot Spa

    by tigerjapan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Free Foot Bath with Onsen Water

    At the Takayama Green Hotel complex they have a free foot bath that uses the hot onsen water that sprang from a spring when the hotel was being constructed. The water has medicinal benefits and is very relaxing after a day of sight-seeing.

    Also, in the doors to the rear of the foot onsen is the largest souvenir shop in Takayama. The hotel has a huge gift shop where you can pick up all sorts of things.

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    SANNOMACHI DISTRICT - Traditional Takayama

    by Pixiekatten Updated Feb 9, 2007

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    This part of Takayama dates back to the as early as the 1600s to 1870 (Edo period). This was a time when the area was full of wealthy merchants. Today there's lots of coffeehouses, sake breweries, traditional shops, old homes and a few museums and galleries where you can see local craft and arts.

    Not to be missed:
    Takayama Jinya - a traditional building which used to be the government building.
    Sake Breweries - look for the sugidama hanging over their entrances. Sugidama is balls made of cedar branches.
    Fujii Art (or Folk) Gallery - exhibits household items and art objects.
    Hirata Kinenkan - a former merchant home now open to the public.
    Kusakabe Heritage House - one of the oldest homes in Takayama.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel
    • Backpacking

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    "Youth Please"

    by tigerjapan Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Knickers at the

    In the Hida-no-sato (Hida Folk Village) open-air museum there is a "Fountain of Youth". If there is even the off chance that this could be real it's worth a look :-) !!

    Nicole & I took the extended path through the Folk Village and came across the "EMMEISUI" (fountain of youth). It was a lovely path to reach the small fountain and quite a nice little stroll. We of course asked for a little youth, being there and all it seemed like the right thing to do.

    Please refer to my Hida Folk Village tip for more details.

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    • Architecture
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

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    MORNING MARKETS

    by Pixiekatten Updated Feb 9, 2007

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    Morning market - Takayama I
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    ASAICHI - morning markets.

    The markets open already at 6am and its a great experience strolling past the small booths together with the residents of Takayama. Whats on offer is mostly vegetables, flowers, clothes and local handicraft. Of course hundreds and hundreds of Sarubobo's are to be found in various sizes and colours. (For Sarubobo, see seperate tip..)

    Markets end around 10am. They're on 7 days a week (I think they're on Sundays too..). You will find them around Miyagawa area (river area).

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Seniors
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    Higashiyama Walking Course

    by Pixiekatten Updated Feb 15, 2007

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    The hiking trail starts in Teramachi temple district. Around here there's dozens of temples and shrines. It is then taking you past rural suburbs and through the hills of Shiroyama Park where you'll find the ruins of Takayama's castle. The trail is about 3,5km and you don't need a map, there's signs all the way leading you right.

    The walking course was a nice way to spend a few hours after the crowds in Sannomachi area. The view from Shiroyama Park is nice but not breathtaking. However it was from up there I discovered the golden roof of The Mahikari Main World Shrine and I had to extend the walk across whole of Takayama to get a closer look. (See seperate tip.)

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    • Historical Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Miyagawa morning market

    by cheesecake17 Written May 6, 2005

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    At 7am everyday in Takayama there are 2 open markets..One near the TAKAYAMA JINJA and the other along the Miyagawa River in the SANMACHI Suji..

    I went to the SANMACHI one, its was fun to walk around and look at the stands selling local farm products such as vegetables, lots of pickles and also local crafts..


    The Takayama Jinya morning market is held in front of Takayama Jinya, its about a 5-10 minute walk from the JR Takayama Station.

    The Miyagawa morning market
    is held along Miyagawa River in the Sanmachi Suji area, also a 5-10 minute walk from the JR Takayama Station.

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    Sanmachi Suji

    by cheesecake17 Written May 6, 2005

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    old street


    Sanmachi Suji are 3 narrow streets in the center of Takayama's old town.

    The streets are lined with traditional buildings, stores, sake breweries and private homes.

    When walking the streets you really feel you are back in time...Some of the buildings house museums on folk art, local history ...

    A few times I made the mistake and walked into a private home...becasue all the houses are really nicely keep to the tradition..but there are also some elegant former merchant houses open to the public, great to see.

    I saw a few RICKSHAW , which you can rent for 3000 yen.for 2 people..but I did not ...just walking around the street felt more natural..


    You can reach Sanmachi Suji in 5-10 minute walk from the JR Takayama Station which is just across the Miyagawa River.

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    Merchant Houses

    by cheesecake17 Updated May 6, 2005

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    inside yoshijima-ke


    The best way to see Takayama SANMACHI SUJI is walking, you get the feel of the area and is really not a bad walk...

    The street are lined with houses in the old style of black wood....

    There are several FORMER MERCHANT HOUSES that can not be miss and it open to the public for 500 yen..

    The best one are YOSHIJIMA-KE and KUSAKABE MINGEIKAN there are next to each other so you can not miss it.

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    Takayama Yatai Kaikan

    by cheesecake17 Updated May 6, 2005

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    The Takayama Festival, hold 2 festival one in the spring (April 14 and 15) and the other in the fall (October 9 and 10)

    Is ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful festivals

    Four of the eleven floats (yatai) paraded in the autumn festival are exhibited at the Takayama Yatai Kaikan, a hall next to Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine.

    They are really beautiful to see, and so elaborately decorated .They are several hundred years old really beautiful examples of Takayama's legendary craftsmanship

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    Going back in time at Hida No Sato

    by Restless-in-kl Updated Dec 30, 2005

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    Nishiokas' house

    Hida Folk Village is traditional private house preservation park where you can walk around admiring the different styles of village houses of days gone past. It's a place where all things are well harmonized with nature and provides good insight into old local village life.

    The lake/pond featured in the photo is teeming with fish which you can feed by buying some bread. You will see lovely white swans and ducks gliding around as well.

    Very enjoyable peaceful walk in the afternoon. To know the different architecture of houses featured here, please see my travelogue.

    Open all year round : 8.30am - 5pm

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    Sample the delights of Miyagawa Morning Market

    by Restless-in-kl Written Jan 2, 2006

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    Market

    We woke up early in Takayama and feeling hungry, we headed to Miyagawa morning market. It's very picturesque, with cloth-covered stalls selling fresh vegetables, flowers, pickled vegetables, locally made crafts, tidbits and toys.

    We love the Japanese snack shops selling local tidbits like crackers and nuts as they allow us to sit down, sample as much as we want and even provide green tea to wash everything down.

    You can say that we had breakfast on the move! Go between 7.30 - 11.30am to get the most out of its atmosphere.

    The market stretches on the east bank of the Miyagawa River between Kajibashi and Yayoibashi bridges. It's just 10 minutes from the train station.

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    • Trains
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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    Sake tasting

    by toonsarah Written Dec 31, 2013

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    Sugidama
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    Several of the old houses in Takayama are sake breweries, as some have been for centuries. You can easily recognise these by the large white barrels outside and the distinctive spheres hanging above the entrance. These are known as sugidama and are the traditional sign of a sake brewery. Originally they were hung up whenever a new lot of sake was brewed. Made with green, freshly picked needles of a type of cedar, Cryptomeria japonica, the ball would hang there until the needles turned brown, indicating that the sake had aged enough and was ready for drinking. Today these sugidama are no longer used to indicate the age of the sake but simply as a sign of a traditional sake brewery or a sake shop.

    Many such establishments in Takayama welcome visitors to taste the sake and we visited a couple with Andrew, both towards the southern end of Kami-Sannomachi. In the first we were able to taste a good range of different sakes. We paid 100¥ and were given a small pottery cup which we could afterwards keep as a souvenir. On one side of the room was a display of sake bottles on three shelves, and we were free to sample as much as we liked from any of them. The only stipulation was that each person who wanted to taste had to pay for their own little cup. Or as the signs above the shelves said,
    “Please sample after purchasing one-piece [the cup with the sansya logo] of 100 yen. Grass can be brought home”
    and,
    “The carrying out from this corner of sample alcohol should withhold. I refuse that a cup uses about. Please purchase one person one cup.”
    You can see these signs, which did make us smile, in my Lost in Translation on my Japan page.

    After we had sampled a number of the sakes here (and debated about the rival qualities of each) we moved on to a nearby establishment that operates rather differently. Here you pay for your sake by the glass, and it is served in the traditional Takayama style, with the glass inside a small wooden box. Actually, the really traditional way is to serve it directly in the box, but this is probably more practical! They also sell a lemon-flavoured drink a little like the Italian limoncello which was very popular with our group but which I found a little sweet for my taste. This particular sake brewery has a lovely courtyard at the rear where you can relax over your drinks, and there’s also a restaurant attached. One couple in our group came back here to eat the following evening and reported it very good.

    There’s a useful list of a number of Takayama sake breweries on the website below. Unfortunately I didn’t think to ask Andrew the names of the two we went to but I’m pretty sure from the descriptions here that the second one was Funasaka and the first either Hirata or Harada.

    Once we had drunk as much sake as seemed sensible for the middle of the afternoon (OK a little more than that!), Chris and I decided to investigate an interesting gallery which we had spotted on the other side of the road.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting

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Takayama Things to Do

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