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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 favourite destinations in Japan, a relaxing break from the throng of the city, and complemented by a twice yearly festival, in spring and autumn, where gorgeously decorated floats are paraded through the streets to the sound of taiko drumming and singing.

Takayama's history

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.

Local highlights

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.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Jo

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Takayama by contacting one of our Japan specialists

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

    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.

    • Takayama Visit
      Hida Folk Village, near Takayama

      Takayama Visit

      Takayama Visit

      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.

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