Takayama Jinya, Japan’s sole remaining magisterial outpost
Takayama Jinya was once the villa of Lord Kanamori but with the lord’s move to Uenoyama (Yamagata Prefecture), Hida became an important territory under direct control of the Tokugawa shogun. And for the 177 years henceforth up to the Meiji Restoration, the politics of the region were controlled in this place by the shogunate magistrate and regional administrator. But by the end of the Tokugawa era, only Takayama Jinya remained among the 66 similar magisterial outposts in the nation. It’s believed that the oldest building of the complex was built around the year 1600.
The folk museum reflecting an appearance from 400 years ago cannot be missed
Currently, Takayama Jinya is a folk museum. What is of great interest is the easy-to-comprehend display of the duties of the outpost during those days which included collection of the land tax and the selling of salt. Especially interesting is Japan’s largest and oldest rice storehouse which was moved from Takayama Castle in 1695. There are relics inside the 8 granaries storing the rice tax which include special blades and the handwriting of personnel of the time. There is also a variety of information collected from those days which you can now find out about. You will also want to make use of the guides who are knowledgeable about Takayama Jinya stationed by the entrance. In spite of the fact that the service is free of charge, you will be given a fine 1-hour tour regarding the history and the interior of the site.
Enjoy encountering the local people and famous products at the morning market
In front of Takayama Jinya between 6am and 12 noon, there is a morning market. The outpost is popular with tourists due to its relative proximity from Takayama Station (7-8 minute walk), so it is a site that cannot be missed as a reminder of the Hida-Takayama region. Starting with the variety of vegetables and homemade pickles available at the morning market, you will find many famous local products including flowers, fruits, mochi rice cakes, miso and handmade handicrafts. You will also be charmed by the simplicity and regional flavor of the Hida dialect. As well, along with the shopping, enjoying mingling with the local residents is another one of the charms of your travels.