|Centrip Editorial Board
The Real Hida Takayama: 10 tourist spots you cannot miss
What pops into your mind when you hear "Hida Takayama, Japan"?
Today, we will introduce the best of Hida Takayama for your pleasure and entertainment: the classical tourist spots in Takayama city, speciality handicrafts, and more.
1. Sanmachi (Old townscape)
The chuushin (center), the kamimachi (upper), and the shimomachi (lower) streets of the Jyoka-machi are widely known as the "Sanmachi".
There are old shops, traditional townhouses, and sake breweries with "sakabayashi" (a cedar ball hung near the front door to signal to customers that the brewing has started) hanging down at the entrance of the breweries. Under the eaves of the old Japanese-style windows is a little stream, which may be a familiar sight to the residents from back in the old days.
We recommend you to go on a little adventure around the town with a "mitarashi dango" (dumplings coated with a soy-and-sugar syrup), or a Hida beef sushi in your hands as a snack. Enjoy your one-day trip back to the Edo period!
2. Historical Government House (Takayama Jinya)
The Historical Government House once belonged to Kanamori as a villa, though after Hida came under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate, the magistrates from Edo made the house into a political base. The only government office (called "Jinya" at the time) back from the old days which you can still find in Japan today, is right here in Takayama.
3. Hida Folk Village (Hida-no-sato)
The museum displays a mountain village formed by more than 30 old houses representing Hida. The houses have rafter roofs and lumber roofs that protected the people from heavy snowfalls.
Not only are the tools that were used in people's daily lives displayed in these houses, but demonstration performances of straw works, quiltings, and more are performed as well.
4. Takayama Morning Markets
Back in the Edo period, the area flourished as a market selling flowers, rice, and more. Later during the Meiji period, the wives of the farmers began to sell vegetables in these markets, which eventually developed into the morning market we are familiar with today.
There are two morning markets: one at the plaza in front of the historical government house, and one along the Miya river.
You can find seasonal vegetables, fruits, and flowers at the market. Get a sense of the local lives by listening to the dialect of Takayama and the down-to-earth conversations of the local residents visiting the market.
5. Takayama Museum of History and Art
The museum introduces the inherited cultures and origins of Takayama, featuring the charms of a castle town. This gets a very strong recommendation from us. A different theme is set for each of the 14 exhibition rooms, such as the Takayama Festival, the origin of the town, famous people related to the area, the arts, Enkū (a famous artist/monk) and more .
The garden surrounded by the historical landmarks, the trickling sound of water drawn from the well, and the lamps beautifully made from glass, all serve to ensure a pleasant and relaxing time for you.
6. Hida Beef
Savour the melting taste of the Hida Beef - made with pride, perfect in both quality and taste. It can be used to good effect in both Japanese and Western styles (such as steak, sukiyaki and shabu-shabu).
Hida beef arranged into spit roasts, sushi, and meat buns is also a mouth watering choice.
7. Takayama Ramen (Noodles)
The simple combination of the soup made based on soy sauce, and the thin, frizzy noodles, are what makes Takayama Ramen so popular.
Not only is Takayama ramen loved by the local residents (who call the ramen "Chinese noodles"), but has fans all over Japan. It is one of the foods that best represents Takayama.
8. Hida Shunkei
The roots trace back to 400 years ago, when San-emon Narita, a lacquer worker, coated a tray offered by Kizaemon Takahashi, a chief carpenter, with clear lacquer.
The lacquer coating technique that beautifully brightens up the surface of the sensitive wood in gold is splendid. You will never get tired of looking at this artwork!
9. Yew Wood Carvings
The origin of the Yew Wood Carvings dates back to the end of the Edo period, when Ryōchō Matsuda applied the Netsuke Carving to the yew, and omitted the process to color it, leaving it bare. The carefully selected wood, which goes through 6 processes to change its form, is said to increase its gloss the more the years pass by.
Sarubobo is Takayama's official character.
Sarubobo (meaning a baby monkey) was a stuffed baby monkey made by mothers to wish for their children's happiness.You can find Sarubobos in a variety of colors and sizes while walking on the streets of Takayama!
What did you think? Make sure to jot down these spots before going on a trip to Takayama!