Enjoy the historic townscape and the grandness of nature
Takayama has the largest surface area in Japan. The northern area of Takayama, which lies at the foot of the Northern Alps, has the Oku-Hida Onsen Villages which include the Hirayu Onsen and the Fukuji Onsen. The area is also known for its heavy snowfall which makes it popular for winter sports. In the southern area of the city, there is Shokawa-machi which is known for the Shokawa-zakura, an aged cherry tree which has existed for about 500 years. The most popular area which is in the center of the city has retained the castle town and the merchant quarter from the Edo Era. The townscape which includes Sanmachi-dori (refer to separate article) has also been called the Little Kyoto of Hida.
Wake up early and take a stroll through the kitchen of the Takayama citizens
When one speaks about a familiar morning sight in Takayama, it would be the Miyagawa Morning Market. It is said to be one of Japan’s Three Great Morning Markets alongside Ishikawa Prefecture’s Wajima Market and Chiba Prefecture’s Katsuura Market. Every morning from 6:30 a.m. to 12 noon (from 8 to noon in winter), Miyagawa starts up and 40 to 50 shops regularly open their doors as homegrown produce is sold. In winter, the specialties of the Hida district are displayed such as mochi rice cakes, miso and straw products. There is also another morning market in front of the former government outpost known as the Takayama Jinya. In the plaza, there are 30 tents of varying sizes.
Shimoninomachi is that secret paradise with a serene feeling
The area of Kamisannomachi comes to mind when people talk about the old townscape which best represents Takayama, but nearby there is one more Important Preservation District of Historic Buildings. Shimoninomachi and Ojin-machi make up an old area that has retained the castle town region and Etchu Street from the days of the Edo Era. The townhouses from the Meiji Era into the early Showa Era have remained in excellent shape, so you can feel that are still traces of the former merchant town. It has a slightly different feel from Kamisannomachi which is popular with the tourists, and it is attractive for its calm and serene atmosphere. The interiors of the Kusakabe Folk Museum and the adjacent Kichijima House which are said to best represent the townhouses of Takayama can be toured. The spacious beauty of the splendidly arranged beams and the large dirt floors can be said to be the grand sum of the residential architecture spotlighting Edo Era techniques.