Takayama Information

Population: 93,000

Access: Shinkansen (bullet trains) from Tokyo and Kyoto will take you to Nagoya, where you change trains on to the JR Hida Limited Express to Takayama - a beautiful two-hour journey. From Hakuba, you can catch the train to Matsumoto, where you change to a local coach.

Highlights: Hida Folk Village / Takayama's old city / Festival Float Exhibition Hall / Tomenosuke science-fiction movie gallery

Favourite hotels: Tanabe, Sumiyoshi, Hotel Associa Takayama Resort

Suggested Itineraries

Ahh, magical Takayama. Hidden away high up in the Japanese Alps, this bustling little town is characterised by misty mountain views and higgledy-piggledy streets lined with Edo-period buildings. Often compared to Kyoto because of its many shrines, Takayama is in fact only a fraction of the size, but it really packs a punch; it’s a great place to slow down for a few days and absorb the old world charm, without the hassle of a big city.

Historically, the town flourished with creativity, sheltering Japan’s most skilled carpenters and artisans. Today you can still see evidence of their work in the charming houses along the banks of the Miyagawa River, and the warren of streets in the Sanmachi district remains alive with shops, museums and galleries. Saké is also big – there are more than a few breweries open to visitors – as is food; you’ll have great fun browsing the farmers’ markets and seeking out hole-in-the-wall cafes serving up local delicacies.

Takayama Information

Population: 93,000

Access: Shinkansen (bullet trains) from Tokyo and Kyoto will take you to Nagoya, where you change trains on to the JR Hida Limited Express to Takayama - a beautiful two-hour journey. From Hakuba, you can catch the train to Matsumoto, where you change to a local coach.

Highlights: Hida Folk Village / Takayama's old city / Festival Float Exhibition Hall / Tomenosuke science-fiction movie gallery

Favourite hotels: Tanabe, Sumiyoshi, Hotel Associa Takayama Resort

Suggested Itineraries