From Hida Furukawa, a 20-minute train ride gets you to Takayama Station, where you get off for Hida Takayama and the first thing that comes into view in the surrounding sightseeing area is the old streetscapes. This old castle town evolved around Takayama Castle, built by Lord Kanamori Nagachika in the early 17th century.
In two Nationally Recognized Important Historical Building Preservation Areas, central tourist destinations, the ambience of the Edo period (1603–1867) remains today. A classic tourist itinerary would include moving out of the way of sightseeing rickshaws while snacking on local delicacies like Hida-Gyu Kushi (Hida beef on a skewer) and Mitarashi Dango (small skewered rice-flour balls glazed with soy sauce). The latter are close to a light meal and differ from the more nationally known Mitarashi Dango, which is covered in a sweet soy sauce and enjoyed as a snack. Other pleasures here include tasting sake at a local brewery and buying a charming baby monkey doll souvenir known as Sarubobo doll. In “Your Name.,” a cloth of Sarubobo print pattern was used to wrap a bento lunch box.
Takayama Jinya is located along Miyagawa River, which flows through the city. During the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603–1867), there were 60 or so government outposts across the country, but this riverside site is the only one remaining today. It offers the best view of Nakabashi Bridge over Miyagawa River. As spring usually comes later in the year for Hida, there is a large window of opportunity to view cherry blossoms cascading over the bridge. Morning markets, open daily from morning to noon, are a must-see. Be sure to set your alarm early to experience Miyagawa Morning Market and Jinya-mae Morning Market, both considered as one of Japan’s Three Great Morning Markets.
Takayama’s spring celebration of Sanno Festival showcases 12 majestic floats on April 14–15. For Hachiman Festival, the autumn fete, ornate floats with wind-up dolls parade through the streets into the nights of October 9–10.
With spring’s cherry blossom tinting, summer’s bright green leaves, autumn’s vivid foliage, and winter’s deep snow, Hida Takayama reveals the seasonal beauty of its townscape like a picture postcard.
The ride on JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Toyama is about 2 hours, 15 minutes. From there an express line to Hida Furukawa Station takes about 1 hour, 15 minutes. About 15 minutes on the JR Takayama Line takes you to Takayama Station.
For More Info