Furui Machinami is something that cannot be missed during a tour of Takayama!
Furui Machinami was established by former samurai Nagachika Kanamori in the Edo Era and is an area adjacent to the merchant quarter of a castle town. The area’s arrangement and the width of its streets have basically remained unchanged since it was developed over 400 years ago. You can freely get a taste of Edo here. Within Furui Machinami, the Sanmachi-dori (The Three Town Streets) consisting of Kamisannomachi, Kamininomachi and Kamiichinomachi is THE sightseeing course for Takayama. The streets, which retain a lot of the Japanese architecture from the latter half of the Edo Era to the early half of the Meiji Era, have been designated as an Important Preservation District Of Historic Buildings. On these narrow streets where irrigation water flows under the eaves of houses with latticed bay windows, curtains for well-established shops are all lined up, and a scene reminiscent of a trip through time spreads out.
Kamisannomachi, the most popular of the Sanmachi-dori
In Sanmachi-dori, Kamisannomachi has been the street which has survived the longest. The area is bustling with plenty of tourists visiting facilities such as souvenir shops selling candies made with techniques unchanged since olden times in the Hida District and the specialty of soy sauce-flavored Mitarashi dumplings. You will want to take photos of the Machinami and quietly get a taste of that elegance. In that case, coming to the market early in the morning or during sunset when the souvenir shops are starting to close is recommended. You get an unusual feeling in the area as it is wrapped in a quiet that feels as if time was rolled back.
It’s also fun to drink and compare the local sake of the Hida District
Strolling through the streets, you will see big round objects under the eaves. These are the sakabayashi (sugidama), balls of cedar leaves which are hung at sake breweries to inform people that fresh sake has been made. Local sake in Takayama has been produced since the middle of the Edo Era, and blessed with things such as pure water, high-quality rice and the ideal climate, it has been highly praised all over the country. In Sanmachi, there are 7 breweries, and depending on the brewery, the sake can be sampled. Going around to some of these places to sample the local brew is also very enjoyable.