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Getting to Takayama




Tourist Information (The numbers below correspond to those on the map.)

  1 Old Private Houses 21 Hida Takayama Festival Forest and the Forest of the Tea Ceremony
  2 Historical Government House 22 Forest of squirrel, Fields and mountain Flower garden
  3 Morning Markets 23 Oku Hida Hot Springs Village
  4 Shorenji - Dr. Fukurai Memorial Hall 24 Northern Alps and Shinhotaka Ropeway (mountain-climbing, ropeway riding)
  5 Kusakabe Folk Museum 25 Oku Hida Bear Park
  6 Yoshijima Heritage House 26 Hirayu Grand Waterfall
  7 Festival Floats Exhibition Hall 27 Hida Great Limestone Cave
  8 Higashiyama Temple Area - Higashiyama Walking Course 28 Mt. Norikura & Norikura Skyline
  9 Takayama Local History Museum 29 Goshikigahara Plateau
10 Nara-Period State-Supported Temples 30 Honoki-daira Cosmos Garden
11 Shishi Hall 31 Utsue Forty-eight Waterfalls
12 Hirata Folk Art Museum 32 Ankokuji Temple
13 Hida Archaeology Museum 33 Okura Waterfall
14 Fujii Folk Museum 34 Hida Kiyomi Lavender Garden
15 Takayama City Memorial Hall 35 Shokawa Cherry Tree
16 Hida Takayama Shunkei Hall 36 Garyu Cherry Tree
17 Hida-Takayama Museum of Art 37 Donosora Ruins (Jomon Ruins)
18 Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village 38 Arkopia Sunflower Garden
19 Forest of Seven Lucky Gods 39 Subzero Forest
20 Hida Folk Village 40 Nomugi Pass



 1 Old Private Houses (Nationally Recognized Important Historical Building Preservation Area)
The Town Village still stands on the east side of the Miyagawa River flowing through Takayama, and in the middle of it is Sanmachi, where Edo period houses remain. The rich atmosphere of Takayama castle town still lingers, and you can see sake breweries and merchants’ houses with latticed bay windows standing in a row. This district was designated an area of important traditional buildings by the Japanese Government.



 2 Historical Government House (National Historical Site)
This was one of the mansions of Lord Kanamori of Takayama Castle. After the Kanamori line was transferred to another fief, it came under the direct control of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and prefectural and district governors used it as an office through which to govern Hida. This office was called Takayama Jinya, sending out official proclamations and collecting taxes. When the Meiji era began, it came to be used as area offices for the prefecture, county and local branches. Takayama Jinya is the only remaining building of this kind in the country.



 3 Morning Markets
Starting in the Edo period (about 200 years ago) as markets of rice, mulberry trees, and flowers, and developed by the middle of the Meiji period (about 100 years ago) when farmers’ wives began to bring vegetables, these markets came to be known as ‘Morning Markets.’ There are two sites; Jinyamae Morning Market and Miyagawa Morning Market. Fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, etc., can be enjoyed year round. (Summer - 6:00am~12:00pm, winter - 7:00am~12:00pm)



 4 Shorenji - Dr.Fukurai Memorial Hall
Moved from Shirakawagou, famous for its overhanging eaves, to the site of Takayama Castle, Shorenji is said to be Japan’s oldest temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect. The main hall, which was constructed in the Eisho period (about 500 years ago), is said to have been built from a single giant cedar tree. The gentle curve of the roof is representative of the beauty of Muromachi architecture. Nearby you can simultaneously see Dr. Fukurai Memorial Hall, named after the spiritualist.



 5 Kusakabe Folk Museum (National Important Cultural Treasure)
This was constructed in Meiji 12 (1879). These eaves are low, deep and dignified, seemly of a private house of deep in the snow country. Built to be solid, with overlapping eaves, this house is the first old merchant’s house designated as a National Important Cultural Treasure, along with the adjoining Yoshijima House. One could say that with the splendidly put together beam construction and the beauty of open space revealed by a large earthen floor, it has the largest concentration of folk buildings.



 6 Yoshijima Heritage House (National Important Cultural Treasure)
This was built in Meiji 41 (1908). Because it has been a Sake brewery since olden times, a huge sakabayashi (sign of a shop dealing in sake, made of Japanese ceder leaves) is hung under the eaves. The beauty of the wood is shown in the wooden pillars and panel doors, as well as in the staircase centered on the main pillar of the house and composed of beams (horizontal pillars) and posts (pillars perpendicular to the beams), with sunlight from the top window entering the house, and in the wooden pillars and panel doors.
In contrast to the masculine style of the Kusakabe house, it can be said that this Yoshijima house is a structure possessing subtlety and feminine beauty, tending towards sensitivity and delicacy through and through.



 7 Festival Floats Exhibition Hall
The Float Hall is in Sakurayamahachiman, and houses 11 floats for the fall Takayama festival. They rotate the floats 3 times a year (March, July, and November) putting 4 on display each time. In a revival of the festival parade, a shrine maiden takes visitors on a tour.



 8 Higashiyama Temple Area - Higashiyama Walking Course
When you reach the top of Yasugawa Street, the peacefulness hangs in the air at the place nicknamed Higashiyama Temple Area. It is said that it began when Lord Kanamori Nagachika, who loved Kyoto, built the castle town. He constructed many temples on a slightly elevated hilly area in the eastern part of town. Not only are all of these historical temples, they are also an array of cultural assets as designated by the prefecture and the city.
Higashiyama Walk is a 3.5 kilometer walking course from Higashiyama Temple Area to Shiroyama Park.



 9 Takayama Local History Museum
Over the centuries, the Takayama townspeople have created a uniquely elegant, sophisticated culture, blending the best elements of life and culture from Kyoto and Edo. To preserve and maintain this culture, a traditional dozo (storehouse) has been made into a museum that displays historical information and other significant artifacts that reveal the unique characteristics of the townspeople.



10 Nara-Period State-Supported Temples (National Historical Site and Important Cultural Treasure)
There is a huge ginko tree over 1200 years old and a ‘Triple Pagoda’ in the precincts, as well as Bell Tower Gates, said to have been moved from Takayama Castle and the cornerstone of the pagoda built over 1200 years ago. The main temple building is the oldest structure in the city, constructed in the Muromachi era (about 500 years ago). It has a style worthy of its reputation as Hida’s greatest ancient temple.



11 Shishi Hall
As well as housing over 800 important tangible folk-cultural properties collected from across Japan such as lion dance masks, this museum displays a variety of objects used for local festivals, everyday utensils from rural villages as well as craft artefacts. In the performance area, you can see a performance of karakuri puppets.



12 Hirata Folk Art Museum
The Hirata residence, a building steeped in history as shown by the curtain adorning the door dyed with the trade name Utsuboya, housed one of Takayama’s traditional businesses for over 10 generations. Inside the museum, you can find out about the history of this trading house, see traditional homeware as well as works of art collected over the years.



13 Hida Archaeology Museum
This was the residence of the physician to the daimyo, employed by the Kanamori family, the lords of Takayama castle. In this samurai residence-styled building from the civil war period (around the 16th century), you can see features such as a suspended ceiling, a concealed entrance and a hidden tunnel that leads to a well. Historical and archaeological artefacts from the Hida area are displayed in the storehouse.



14 Fujii Folk Museum
This storehouse, built entirely with Japanese cypress in the Edo Manryu style, houses a collection of 2,500 historical art and craft items amassed by Dr. Fujii, who resided in Takayama. Of particular interest are a set of Hina dolls (for the March doll festival) made over 270 years ago (in the early 18th century) known as the Kyoho Hina, and scrolls painted by artists such as Taikan Yokoyama and the monk Ikkyu.



15 Takayama City Memorial Hall
This building overlooking the Old Private Houses (Ichinomachi, Ninomachi, and Sannomachi areas) was used as the town and city offices from 1895 until 1968 (Meiji 28– Showa 43). It is built with the finest Japanese cypress, and has numerous glass sliding doors dating from when glass windows were first introduced to Takayama.



16 Hida Takayama Shunkei Hall
This museum houses over 1,000 beautiful pieces of traditional light-colored Hida Takayama lacquerware, known as Shunkei lacquerware. It is coated with a transparent varnish called sukeurushi, and dates from the Edo period through the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, to the present day. There is an easy-to-understand introduction to the processes for making this beautiful lacquerware.



17 Hida-Takayama Museum of Art
Museum with a collection of glass and Art Nouveau with a European feel. The highlight is a glass water fountain of the Champs-Elysee. It has every amenity, like a fine, atmospheric cafe and a gift shop selling original works. From here, the view of the park and Japan’s Northern Alps is magnificent.



18 Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village
A much-loved museum that will delight visitors of all ages. With the theme of ecology, the 140-year-old traditional gasshozukuri-style building with a sloped- and thatched-roof houses a collection of 1,000 bears from across the globe.



19 Forest of Seven Lucky Gods
Simple statues dedicated to the Seven Lucky Gods can be seen within rows of rice storehouses built long ago in the Edo period. Known as “the water of luck and prosperity,” spring water originating from the inner sanctum of the Shinsengu Shrine in the 7,000 square meter forest is offered to each of the Lucky Gods. Shinsen means “God’s spring” and it is said that the spring water first came out on the 1,700th day after the Gods’ revelations.



20 Hida Folk Village
An approximately 99,000 square meter site of sloped- and thatched-roof houses, this model of a folk village (including National Cultural Treasures) has over 30 buildings, recreating Hida’s historical look. In each building, everyday articles (which we now regard as folk art) recalling the life and culture of mountain farming villages are displayed. Demonstrations of traditional crafts such as Hida lacquerwork, weaving and dyeing are held in arts and crafts centers. Plus, in folk art schools, you can make Hida folk art like straw crafts and sashiko quilting.



21 Hida Takayama Festival Forest and the Forest of the Tea Ceremony
The Takayama Festival Museum, Japan’s first underground structure, houses six festival stalls built in Heisei 3 (1991), together with the world’s largest drum. The neighboring Forest of Nature is a natural resort where you can fully enjoy unusual butterflies and fossils collected from various parts of the world and savor many other features of nature. Particularly noteworthy is Gifucho, a type of butterfly (zoological name: Luehdorfia japonica). The newly built Forest of the Tea Ceremony exhibits fine articles created by the guardians of important intangible cultural assets who are referred to as ‘Living National Treasures.’ Also on display are the works of potters and artists who have created numerous fine works of art. You can try to use some of these fine art objects to drink tea.



22 Forest of squirrel, Fields and mountain Flower garden
Here you can see creatures such as the Hokkaido squirrel and the chipmunk. Take a stroll in the mountains, and enjoy nature at its best.



23 Oku Hida Hot Springs Village
The Oku Hida Hot Springs Village is the collective name for five scattered hot spring resorts. Immediately below the Northern Alps, the Shin-Hotaka Hot Springs are surrounded by nature on a grand scale. The Tochio Hot Springs, which serve as a “base point” of the village, have a homely atmosphere. Located in the center of Oku Hida, the Shin-Hirayu Hot Springs are flourishing. The Fukuji Hot Springs have a retrospective and nostalgic atmosphere. Having been prosperous throughout its long history, the Hirayu Hot Springs have an air of elegance. In this area, you can feel the clear air with your skin, listen to the murmurs of the rivers, and extend your arms and legs fully in a wide open-air bath, bringing a deep sense of relaxation.



24 Northern Alps and Shinhotaka Ropeway (mountain-climbing, ropeway riding)
The observatory that is the closest to Mt. Yarigatake (3,180 meters high) and Mt. Hotaka (3,190 meters high) is accessible by Japan’s first double-deck gondola, which takes you to a place above the clouds, 2,200 meters above sea level. There, you can enjoy a grand panoramic view of the Northern Alps.



25 Oku Hida Bear Park
Have a great time watching “The Bears’ Recital” show, featuring Asian black bears. You can also feed the bears, and watch their amusing gestures as they ask for food.



26 Hirayu Grand Waterfall
This waterfall is a highlight of the area; with a drop of 64 meters, it is featured in the Japanese top 100 falls, and is amongst the top three falls in Hida. In winter, the fall’s huge icy column is illuminated with blue lights for the Hirayu Grand Waterfalls ice festival.




27 Hida Great Limestone Cave
The Hida Great Limestone Cave is a fantastic cavern that opens up 800 meters below a beautiful waterfall. In all of Japan, this is the only place where one can see delicate finger-like helictite cave formations. Nearby, one can also see the Ohashi Museum’s regular display of about 1000 world-renowned works of art, handicrafts, and ornamentations.



28 Mt. Norikura & Norikura Skyline
This high area consisting of 23 ridges, 7 lakes, and 8 plains is collectively referred to as Mt. Norikura. The highest point is the Kengamine pinnacle, 3,026 meters above sea level. You can travel up the mountain along the Norikura Skyline, Japan’s highest-altitude mountain road, to a height of 2,700 meters without stopping.



29 Goshikigahara Plateau
You can climb up to the Goshikigahara Plateau, which is still covered by virgin forest. To take part in any of the organized tours, a reservation is necessary. Accompanied by a pay guide, you can follow the tracks through the forest while receiving information on the plants and other natural features of the surroundings. There are two options: the ‘Japanese serow tour,’ which consists mainly of a tour of waterfalls, and the ‘Veitch’s silver fir tour,’ which consists of a tour of ponds. Roaring waterfalls suddenly appear in the midst of the forest while ponds lying in serene tranquility, formed from the snowmelt of Mt. Norikura, reflect the blue of the sky and the green of the trees, thus enchanting the watchers.



30 Honoki-daira Cosmos Garden
Around eight million cosmos flowers bloom in a four-hectare area of the Honoki Daira Winter Resort area, making the most of the ski slopes in the off-season. Come to the Cosmos Festival where the whole family can enjoy a game competition, street performers, a market, spit-roasted Hida beef, and much more. The best time to visit is from late August to mid-September.



31 Utsue Forty-eight Waterfalls
Surrounded by refreshing greenery, the clear waterfalls cascade down forming a white veil. Innumerable waterfalls, large and small, make up the Forty-eight Waterfalls of Utsue, 800 to 900 meters above sea level, refreshing the minds and hearts of visitors.
There is a mountain track at the site so a full tour of waterfalls can be made. At the observatory located midway, you can enjoy a splendid view of the Northern Alps.



32 Ankokuji Temple
This is a famous temple of the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect. Its main object of worship is the Shakyamuni Tathagata and the temple is said to have been founded in the first half of the 14th century. The scripture house of the temple is the only national treasure of Hida. The octagonal revolving bookshelf inside it is said to be the oldest of its kind in Japan.



33 Okura Waterfall
The Okura Waterfall is designated as a Prefectural Natural Park. The walking course allows you to observe up to a hundred small waterfalls. At the foot of the mountain are restaurants where you can savor soba (buckwheat noodles) made from locally harvested buckwheat, along with lodges that you can rent throughout the year.



34 Hida Kiyomi Lavender Garden
Hida Kiyomi Lavenders bring the feeling of early summer. When the pretty purple flowers are in full bloom, the area is bathed in their gentle perfume and you can enjoy a quiet, relaxing moment. There are approximately 7,500 lavender bushes inside the 7,500 square meter garden. The best time to visit is from late June to early July.



35 Shokawa Cherry Tree
Even though it is about 450 years old, this cherry tree still stands robustly beside the Nakano Observatory on National Route 156 next to the Miboro Dam. This cherry tree has a story to tell, having been transplanted from its original location when the dam was constructed. It is in full bloom from late April to early May every year, as if longing for its old home.



36 Garyu Cherry Tree
Being a state-designated natural monument, Garyu Cherry Tree (which literally means ‘The Lying-Dragon Cherry Tree,’ was so named because it resembles a dragon lying on the ground. More than 1,100 years old, with branches 30 meters long, and 20 meters high, this is a spectacular example of Edohigan Cherry Tree (botanical name: Prunus pendula form. ascendens), the symbol of Japan.



37 Donosora Ruins (Jomon Ruins)
The ruins of a settlement dating back to the early and middle periods of the Jomon era (about 8000 years ago) have been maintained, restored, and opened to the public. The neighboring Historical and Folkloric Information Center displays survey records, excavated articles, and other items from the ruins.



38 Arkopia Sunflower Garden
When summer comes, over 200,000 sunflowers bloom on the Arkopia ski slopes. A market, sketch-meet and a sunflower garden photo contest are held during the season. The best time to visit is from early to mid-August.



39 Subzero Forest
During winter, the owner of Akigami Hot Spring Ryokan sprays a four-hectare area of mountain trees with cold spring water. The trees appear blue during the day, but at night they are lit up in seven colors, a frozen forest work of art that delights visitors.



40 Nomugi Pass
Some 1,672 meters above sea level, this pass is on the former prefectural border between Hida and Shinshu. The Edo period highway going through this pass had been an important route connecting Hida to Shinshu to Edo since olden times, and was so important that it was called the Kamakura Highway or the Edo Highway. This road also transported yellowtail tuna landed in Toyama Prefecture to Shinshu, so that it was also known as the Yellowtail Highway. In the Meiji and Taisho eras, many young women from Hida went over this pass, going to the silk-spinning factories in Nagano Prefecture to spin silk. This story was developed into a novel and later became a film. The Nomugi Pass is now known nationwide as the ‘Pass of the Sad History of Women Workers.’