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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Attraction

Sanmachi Historic District 三町伝統的建造物群保存地区

Open an atmospheric time capsule of life in feudal era Japan

Takayama was once a bustling hub drawing expert artisans, farmers, and merchants from throughout the surrounding area, and Sanmachi preserves this legacy. Enter this district, and you step into the closest thing to the Edo era outside of a period drama.

Don't Miss

  • Museums dedicated to Takayama's history
  • The delicious food and sake
  • Wandering the streets to soak up the atmosphere

How to Get There

Sanmachi is a 10-minute walk east of JR Takayama Station.

Trains from JR Nagoya leave for Takayama every hour, taking about 140 minutes.

Takayama is connected to Toyama and Matsumoto, in Nagano, by trains and highway buses. From Toyama, JR Hida (limited express) trains take about 90 minutes to Takayama Station. Multiple highway buses between Matsumoto and Takayama each day.

A beautiful legacy

The heart of Takayama is Sanmachi, the old town of preserved and restored buildings. During the Edo period (1603-1867), Takayama was a lively hub town bustling with craftsmen, merchants, and farmers from the surrounding area. Today that legacy is preserved in the three main streets and encircling districts of Sanmachi.

Soak up the atmosphere

The most profound experience is just to simply stroll around town, soaking in the historic architecture—the dark wood and white-washed warehouse walls, two-story buildings that served as businesses on the ground floor and residences upstairs. Many of the residences are open to the public, allowing a better insight into daily life in pre-modern Japan.

Fujii Folk Craft Museum is a particularly good example of this. Exhibitions in these houses range from life's necessities to more artistic heirlooms. Kusakabe and Yoshijima Heritage Houses to the northeast of Sanmachi also provide very good glimpses of Takayama's past.

Soba so good

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes serving delicacies such as handmade soba and locally-grown tea, as well as more modern and international fare. A handful of the original sake breweries survive, some offering tours, others tastings. Takayama sake brewers pride themselves on innovation as well as tradition, and each has its own distinctive line and style.

Takayama Jinya

This was once the main government office in the town, although you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for a religious building or a private residence. A 17th-century storehouse for rice—collected as a tax by the shogunate—still stands. Today, it is used as an exhibition room.

Such is the beauty and craftsmanship that went into its construction that Takayama Jinya rated two stars in the prestigious Michelin Green Guide Japan in 2015.

Today, Takayama Jinya is best known for the daily craft and produce market that takes place in front of the building. The other market, Miyagawa Morning Market, takes place along the banks of the Miyagawa River, a short walk away.

Tales from the past

Along Sanmachi Street, Hida Archeology Museum and Hirata Folk Art Museum are housed in what was once the family home of an esteemed line of candle-makers. Here, you will find a dizzying array of regular household items, along with some interesting historical documents.

The Takayama Museum of History and Art, on the other hand, provides a more standard story of the town, its people, and past.

Festivals

Hachiman Shrine to the northeast of Sanmachi is the focal point for the famous Takayama Autumn Festival . It is also known as the Hachiman Matsuri. The large and beautiful floats which take part in the festival are very ornate, decorated with intricate carvings of gilded wood and elaborately detailed metal-work.

Some of the floats from the festival are on permanent display in the nearby Yatai Kaikan . Mechanical dolls that perform dances on top of the floats are also exhibited in the Karakuri Museum.

The spring festival is based around the Hie Shrine, to the south of Sanmachi.

Make yourself at home

There is enough in Sanmachi to fill an entire day, and with plenty of hotels, guesthouses and ryokan nearby, it makes an excellent base for exploring the wider Takayama and Hida area .

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