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14 Things to Do in Takayama: Essential Experiences & Hidden Stays in Japan’s Magical Town

Journey into Japan’s heart with Takayama! Home to timeless traditions, architectural wonders, and the prized Hida beef, Takayama or ‘Hida Takayama’ enthralls visitors with its Edo-era charm. Dive into our detailed guide as we reveal 14 not-to-miss attractions and select places to stay in this enchanting city. Ready to discover the spellbinding beauty of Takayama? Let’s embark on this unforgettable journey together!

Main image credit: Alexander Hagseth /

1. Visit Takayama Jinya, the last magistrate’s office in Japan

Takayama Jinya is a government office that served as the workplace of magistrates and county officials dispatched by the military government or bakufu. Sixty of such offices existed in Japan by the end of the Edo period. Still, at present, Takaya Jinya is the only existing main building. As such, the structure is considered a national historic site.

Takayama Jinya also served as a courthouse during the Edo period. It has maintained the Oshirasu — a place where criminals sat during court proceedings.

Takayama Jinya also has volunteers that offer free on-site tours that allow you to appreciate the history and charm of Takayama Jinya’s beautiful and well-maintained courtyard.

Takayama Jinya
1-5 Hachikenmachi, Takayama-shi, Gifu 506-0012
-March 1 to October 31 (excluding August): 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM
-August 1 to 31: 8:45 AM to 6:00 PM
-November 1 to February 28: 8:45 AM to 4:30 PM
・Admission: 440 yen/person (with group discounts); free for high school students and younger
・Closed: December 29, 31, and January 1

Takayama Jinya Website

2. Enjoy the beauty of Hida Folk Village’s traditional gasshō-zukuri thatched roof homes!

Hida’s old valuable houses, including gasshō-zukuri houses (traditional Japanese architecture with thatched roofs), were dismantled and rebuilt in Hida Folk Village to recreate the life or ancient seasonal events in nostalgic rural villages. Hida Folk Village features more than 30 gasshō-zukuri houses and around 8000 folk items.

You can also go inside these houses to fully appreciate the structure of one of Japan’s traditional houses. Hida Folk Village also has a classroom that gives tourists a hands-on experience of Hida’s folk craft.

In this classroom, you can make a Japanese amulet called sarubobo and even experience kumihimo, which is a form of braid-making featured in a popular anime film set in the Hida region.

Hida Folk Village
1-590 Kamiokamotomachi, Takayama-shi, Gifu-ken 506-0031
・Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
・Admission: Adult: 700 yen, Children (elementary and junior high school): 200 yen
・Closed: None (open all year)

Hida Folk Village Website

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3. Stroll around Sanmachi-dori in Hida Takayama, the iconic must-see sightseeing area!

Furui Machinami (Old Town) are iconic tourist spots in Hida Takayama featuring a stretch of buildings from the Edo period. The most popular among these streets is the Sanmachi-dori, which extends from the Kamiichinomachi to the Kamisannomachi. This street is considered a Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.

Blessed with good rice, water, and climate, Hida Takayama is the epicenter of sake brewing in the region. As such, Sanmachi-dori has rows filled with historical sake breweries where tourists can go and taste local sake. There are also tradit…

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