Surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the northern Alps, the traditional town of Takayama possesses a charming old-world atmosphere and fine Edo-period architecture.
This is one of our favorite destinations in Japan, a relaxing break from the throng of the city, and complemented by a twice yearly festival, in spring and fall, where gorgeously decorated floats are paraded through the streets to the sound of taiko drumming and singing.
Takayama is only a small city, but of significant historic importance in the Hida district. The built-up area around the station belies the hidden charm of the streets to the east of Miyagawa river, which give way to the Sanmachi District, a warren of traditional shops, museums, galleries and sake breweries, all retaining their character in a country that otherwise has embraced the modern age. The oldest buildings that remain are some storehouses (kura in Japanese) built in the 17th century. Most of the buildings in the Sanmachi District are from the late 19th century, although they retain the charm of times gone by.
Takayama has lost some of its charm over the past 20 years or so but the local architecture, ebullient atmosphere and culinary specialities keep visitors coming back year after year. It also has an extensive wooded park and numerous shrines in the Teramachi district, which has often led to comparisons with Kyoto.
Suggested itineraries featuring Takayama
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Takayama, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Takayama
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Takayama
- Shirakawago 36 kilometers away
- Kamikochi 43 kilometers away
- Tateyama 55 kilometers away
- Matsumoto 66 kilometers away
- Tsumago 70 kilometers away
- Kanazawa 73 kilometers away
- The Japanese Alps 78 kilometers away
- Hakuba 84 kilometers away
- Yudanaka 125 kilometers away
- Noto Peninsula 154 kilometers away
- Kyoto 184 kilometers away
- Hakone & Mount Fuji 190 kilometers away
- Izu Peninsula 208 kilometers away
- Nara 210 kilometers away
- Osaka 225 kilometers away
- Kamakura 227 kilometers away
- Kinosaki Onsen 228 kilometers away
- Nikko 230 kilometers away
- Tokyo 232 kilometers away
- Mount Koya 263 kilometers away
- Tottori 282 kilometers away
- Tokushima 337 kilometers away
- Naoshima 351 kilometers away
- Takamatsu 354 kilometers away
- Dewa-sanzan 361 kilometers away
- Kurashiki 372 kilometers away
- Iya Valley 383 kilometers away
- Matsue 385 kilometers away
- Matsushima 421 kilometers away
- Shikoku 429 kilometers away
- Tohoku 447 kilometers away
- Hiroshima 477 kilometers away
- Matsuyama 483 kilometers away
- Kakunodate 483 kilometers away
Photos of Takayama
Accommodation choices for Takayama
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Takayama. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Takayama
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Takayama, and which use the best local guides.
After exploring the old streets and museums of Sanmachi District, head out on the trail around the many temples and shrines of Teramachi, before strolling through Shiroyama Park. You should also attempt to fit in a visit to the open-air museum of Hida Folk Village.View details