Takayama enjoys a scenic setting and has well-preserved Edo-style streets
With its riverside setting, Takayama, commonly referred to as Hida-Takayama, is surrounded by nature and scenic panoramas with the Hida mountain range providing a picturesque backdrop. The city of Takayama is located in the mountainous Japanese Alps area of Gifu Prefecture in the eastern part of Japan. The beautifully preserved old town is a popular attraction with its Edo-style streets, wooden merchants’ houses, historic buildings, coffee houses, sake breweries and craft shops. Perhaps try Hida Beef during your stay, a local speciality, or planning your trip to coincide with the Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Takayama.
Kusakabe Folk Museum
This merchant and money changer's house, dating from the 1890s, showcases the striking craftsmanship of traditional Takayama carpenters. Inside is a collection of household objects & folk art from the Edo period, plus a Buddhist altar & a lounge.
Try Hida Beef
Hida beef is a variety of wagyu beef, from a breed of Japanese black cattle that have been raised in Gigu Prefecture (where Takayama is located) for at least 14 months. What sets Hida beef apart from other beef is its muscle and marbling. Some say that this comes from the fresh, clean air and pristine waters of the Gifu region. Whatever the reason, it results in beautifully tender meat.
One of Japan's great festivals, the Takayama Matsuri is in two parts. On 14 and 15 April there's the Sannō Matsuri, when a dozen decorated yatai (floats) are paraded through the town. Hachiman Matsuri, on 9 and 10 October, is a slightly smaller version. In the evenings, the floats, with their carvings, dolls, colourful curtains and blinds, are decked out with lanterns and the procession is accompanied by sacred music.
A selection of tours to Takayama
Japan Group Tour Rail
14 day tour from £4,699
A tour that explores the very best of Japan’s cultural, natural and UNESCO locations. Journey on the famous bullet train.
Japan Group Tour Nature
Cherry Blossom Tour
13 day tour from £4,299
A 13 day tour that explores the very best of Japan’s culture and nature, during the popular cherry blossom season.
Japan Semi-Escorted Culture
15 day tour from £3,899
Explore Japan’s classic sights, starting in the exciting capital city of Tokyo, famous for its fresh sushi.
Japan Tailor Made Culture
Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa
6 day tour from £627
Enjoy a tour of the Japanese Alps, exploring Takayama’s historic Edo-period streets, discovering the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses of Shirakawago, and admiring the exquisite gardens in Kanazawa.