Holidays to Takayama, Japan

Boasting a charming riverside setting within the mountainous Hida region of rural Japan, Takayama is both the gateway to the Japanese Alps, and a cultural hub teeming with historical significance. While some cities in Japan are now fully immersed in the 21st century (and beyond), Takayama has managed to retain a distinctly traditional feel with a lovingly-preserved old town containing a labyrinth of ancient streets dating back to the 17th century.

The Sanmachi Suji historic district was once a busy thoroughfare for merchants, and now visitors are enthralled by the magic of its unique architecture. Steeped in history, the city packs a big cultural punch into a relatively compact area, meaning a plethora of museums, galleries and temples can easily be reached on foot. Take a stroll through the city and lose yourself in its winding streets, only to stumble across the Karakuri Museum, and join the audience of a classical Japanese puppet show.

Just a short distance away, history and architecture buffs will be fascinated by Shirakawa-go – a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can visit thatch-roof houses in their original setting. Alternatively, cycle to the folk village of Hida-no-sato to learn about rural life in centuries past. Just to the east of the city you can also find the Japanese Alps, which not only provide a stunning backdrop, but can easily be reached for breathtaking hiking excursions.

With Japanese cuisine famed throughout the world, it's no surprise that Takayama has its own delicious specialities – Hida Chuka is a noodle dish unique to the area, and is said to be “the taste of Takayama”. And don't forget to sample local sake which has been brewed in the area since the Edo period (around 300 years ago) – the city's pure mountain water creates a truly unique tasting experience.

Famed for being one of Japan's top three most beautiful festivals, the Takayama Matsuri festival attracts visitors from all over the globe every spring and autumn to revel in the sights of its ornate river floats, Karakuri performances and Mikoshi processions.

 

Highlights

  • Hike in the Northern Japanese Alps

  • Get lost in the winding streets of the old town

  • Explore Japanese culture in the city's museums

  • Unearth usual delicacies at the morning market

  • Experience the famous Takayama festival

Alice
Senior Japan Travel Designer
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One of the things I love most about Japan is that it is a country of contrasts. From the vibrant, modern cities bustling with life to the tranquil countryside, interspersed with traditional villages and soothing landscapes. Also, let’s not forget the incredible Japanese cuisine. No matter where you go, the food is delicious! There are so many things that keep me coming back time and time again.

Takayama trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Takayama. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Map of Takayama