Historical Government House

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Historical Government House (Takayama Jinya)

Historical Government House (Takayama Jinya)

What is this building?

This was a local governor’s office during the Edo period. There once were more than 60 similar buildings in Japan, however Takayama Jinya is the only one left today.
It was in official use from 1692 to 1969.

What is a Jinya?

Prefectural and district governors used it as an office to govern Hida during the Edo period. The present building complex is called “Jinya” that includes residential space and storehouses for rice paid as tax.

What is the governor’s specific work?

Their main business is conducting legal trials and collecting tax. Takayama was well known for its abundant forest resource to produce timbers and an underground natural resource of gold, silver, copper and lead. This is one reason why the Shognate put Takayama under the direct control as an important economic area.

Hours 8:45 ~ 17:00
Address 1-5 Hachiken-machi, Takayama city, Gifu
Contact 0577-32-0643
Access 10 minute walk from Takayama Station
Admission Adult 420 yen Child under high school age free

●Brochures available in English, Chinese and Korean
●English guide is available

Takayama Jinya Perfect Guide

Front Gate

A symbolic architectural feature of Takayama Jinya built in 1832. The crests of hollyhock on the lanterns and hanging screens indicated that Takayama was under direct control of the Edo shogunate.

The North Court Area

The area is used as a court for civil cases. It was called “Oshirasu” which means a white space as it was paved with white pebbles.

What is this carving of a rabbit?

This is an ornament to hide nails in the pillar. A rabbit was believed to be a charm for fertility and a guardian against fire. People also believed a rabbit was the symbol of good governance thanks to its long ears to listen to people’s voices. These carvings can be found in many places of the building.

Tea Preparation Room

This room was used to prepare tea.

What this fish model for?

This is a device to adjust the length of the hanging bar according to the size of the steel tea pot below.


This is a kitchen to prepare a meal for upper class officers, their family and guests.The cooking utensils from the Edo period are on display.

There is a small gap on the wall panel.
Wasn’t it very cold in winter?

The gaps were for ventilation when they made fire, however they used miso paste to fill the gap when it was too cold.

Grand Hall

This hall was used for official meetings and ceremonies. It could be divided into three areas. There were initially 48 tatami in the hall, but one tatami was added later because an even number was related to hara-kiri. All other rooms also have uneven numbers of tatami.

Why does the fringe material of each tatami differ between rooms?

The difference of the material shows the class differences for those who used the rooms.For upper class, a fringe with patterns was used while a fringe without patterns was used for middle class. For lower class, tatami had no fringes.

The South Court Area

This area was used as a criminal court. Instruments of torture are exhibited.

Rice Storehouse

This storehouse is more than 400 years old and relocated from the Takayama Castle which was demolished in the Edo period. It used to be another storehouse in the past.


The roof of Takayama Jinya includes three different kinds of shingles called “Kurebuki”; 75 cm for a long one, 45 cm for a medium one, and 36 cm for a short one (the lengths are approximate).
The shorter they are, the thinner they become. The damaged shingles are replaced every five years. On the roof of the storehouse, stones are put to hold the long shingles and no nails are used. Medium length shingles are used for an office and gate while short shingles are used for the eaves at the entrance of the office.