Tourist Information (The
numbers below correspond to those on the map.)
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
Historical Government House (National Historical
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.
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
Shorenji - Dr.Fukurai Memorial Hall
Moved from Shirakawagou, famous for its overhanging eaves, to the
site of Takayama Castle, Shorenji is said to be Japans 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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hida Takayama Festival Forest and the Forest of the Tea Ceremony
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Veitchs 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.