A Guide to Hida Takayama, Where You May Experience Old Japan
Hida Takayama is a famous tourist destination, where you may experience the beauty of an old-style town. Here are some tourist spots you must visit, where you can experience the history and lifestyle of the people back in the day, as well as the traditional culture.
How to Walk Along the Old Town of Sanmachi-dori
One known way to spend your time traveling at Hida Takayama would be to experience the old town. Kamimachi was once the city center surrounding the castle grounds and served as a place for trade, while Shimomachi refers to the area with 3 alleyways of stores. In particular, Sanmachi-dori which is located around Kamiichi no Machi, Kamini no Machi, and Kamisan no Machi, is where you may find traditional edifices preserved in their natural state. Here you may enjoy in the view of the latticed bay windows all lined up in this beautiful town.
Along the streets you may find izakaya (gastropubs), sweets shops, and traditional craft shops. You may also enjoy your walk while enjoying mitarashi dango (rice dough dumplings with sweet sauce) as well as Hida beef skewers, which are Takayama specialties.
Have a Look at the Takayama Jinya
The Jinya refers to the government outpost during the Edo period (1603 to 1867). Among the 60 places nationwide that served as deputies and magistrate's offices during the military dictatorship in the mid-19th century, where the people in charge of handling incoming taxes and other fees performed their duties.
You may avail of the foreign language (English) guide if you register at the front desk or on the phone. However, this service may not be available depending on the date. If possible, the guide will tour you around the scenic spots for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Entrance Fee: 430 JPY
Visit the Yoshijima Heritage House
The Yoshijima Heritage House is a designated important cultural property representing the machiya (traditional townhouses) of Hida Takayama. This house was one destroyed in a fire in the year 1875, but was reconstructed using traditional means in 1907. The detailed, feminine beauty of this structure is what stands out about it.
Once you enter the entrance, you will be met with a huge stairwell with a high window, where the sun sheds light on the cross beams and pillars, and as a result, casts shadows as well in certain spots. You may also visit the gallery space, where you may view artistic artifacts along with the Japanese-style architecture, along with the tatami-style rooms, courtyard, and storehouses.
Entrance Fee: Adults 500 JPY, Elementary and Middle School Students 300 JPY
Enjoy the Nature and Old Houses at the Hida Folk Village
The Hida Folk Village showcases the lives of the community in Hida back in the day. You may also visit the relocated and reconstructed old homes of the people, where you may view the items they used in their day-to-day lives, at the Hida Village about 800m away from the folk village area.
Within the folk village, you may find the oldest home called the Former Nokubi Settlement, which has over 300 years of history. At Hida Village, you may find 30 old-style homes surrounded by nature. Furthermore, you may find straw crafts as well as quilted items, among many other day-to-day instruments such as the ones used on the field (not available in the winter).
Entrance Fee: Adults 700 JPY, Elementary and Middle School Students 200 JPY
Search for Takayama Specialties at the Miyagawa Morning Market
Do not miss out on the Miyagawa morning market if you are visiting Hida Takayama. This morning market will give you an experience of the Edo period, that you can only experience at a number of places within the whole country. This market is open every day.
It is a 10 minutes' walk from the JR Takayama Station. You may find a lot of stores lined up along the Kaji Bridge to the Miya River. Here you may find traditional vegetables and fruits native to Hida among other local produce, as well as homemade miso and pickled vegetables, which are specialties of the area. Other items you may find are handmade crafts as well as other items by local creators.
Takayama is called the little Kyoto of Hida, because of its old-style atmosphere. Please come here to enjoy the beautiful scenery!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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