Old Town

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Takayama's old town has been beautifully preserved with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants.

The southern half of the old town, especially the Sannomachi Street, survives in a particularly pretty state with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries. The shops in the area are typically open daily from 9:00 to 17:00.

Rickshaw ride
Streets of the old town

Several homes in the old town open their doors to the public. They provide a glimpse behind the facade into the former living quarters of the local merchants and exhibit traditional household goods and local arts and crafts.

A pleasant alternative to exploring Takayama's old town on foot is getting pulled through the streets on a rickshaw. A 30 minute tour for two costs around 5000 yen. Shorter and longer courses are also available.

Southern Area

Takayama Jinya (more details)
Please see the Takayama Jinya page for admission details.
A beautiful traditional Japanese style building, the Takayama Jinya used to serve as Takayama's government office during the Edo Period, when the city stood under direct control of the shogun due to its valuable timber resources.

Old Sake Breweries
Hours: Typically 9:00 to 17:00
Sake is one of Takayama's local specialties. Several old sake breweries can be found in Takayama's old town, recognized by sugidama (balls made of cedar branches) hung over their entrances. Small samples of sake can be purchased at some breweries.

Fujii Art Gallery
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: December 31, January 1 and irregular closures in winter
Admission: 700 yen
The Fujii Art Gallery (Fujii Bijutsu Mingeikan), also known as Fujii Folk Craft Museum, is housed in an old building with a beautiful gate along Sannomachi Street. The small museum exhibits various household items and art objects.

Hida Minzoku Kokokan
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (9:30 to 16:00 from November through February)
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 500 yen
Also known as the Hida Archeology Museum, the Hida Minzoku Kokokan is one of the old buildings along Sannomachi Street. Its architecture, including an old well in the courtyard, have barely changed since the Edo Period.

Hirata Kinenkan
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 300 yen
The Hirata Kinenkan (Hirata Folk Art Museum) is an old merchant home open to the public. The former residence of a candle maker exhibits various household items and historical documents.

Takayama Museum of History and Art
Hours: 9:00 to 19:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: Free
The Museum of Local History (Takayama Hakubutsukan) is an interesting museum about the history and culture of Takayama City. It is housed in a old, restored building.

Northern Area

Hachiman Shrine
Hours: Always open
Closed: No closing days
Admission: Free
Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine (Sakurayama Hachimangu) stands in the northeastern area of Takayama's old town. The shrine's festival, the Takayama Autumn Festival, is celebrated annually on October 9-10.

Takayama Yatai Kaikan (more details)
Please see the Takayama Yatai Kaikan page for admission details.
Located just next to Hachiman Shrine, the Takayama Yatai Kaikan (festival float exhibition hall) exhibits four of the Autumn Festival's eleven festival floats. English audio guides are available.

Karakuri Museum
Hours: 9:05 to 16:25
Closed: Irregular closing days during winter
Admission: 600 yen
Also located at Hachiman Shrine, the Karakuri Museum (mechanical doll museum) displays mechanical dolls (karakuri ningyo) which get mounted onto festival floats. The museum also shows over 200 shishimai (lion dance) masks from around Japan.

Kusakabe Heritage House
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (until 16:00 from Dec to Feb, until 15:00 from Dec 29 to Jan 3)
Closed: Tuesdays from December to February, January 4-6
Admission: 500 yen
The Kusakabe Heritage House (Kusakabe Mingeikan) is one of Takayama's oldest merchant homes open to the public. Its former residents, the Kusakabe family, used to be successful money lenders.

Yoshijima Heritage House
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
Closed: Tuesdays from December to February
Admission: 500 yen
Standing right next to the Kusakabe Heritage House is the Yoshijima Heritage House (Yoshijima-ke), the former residence of the Yoshijima family. Also open to the public, the building used to serve as a residence and sake brewery.

Takayama Morning Markets (more details)
Hours: 6:30 to 12:00 (from 7:00 in winter)
Two morning markets (asaichi) are held in Takayama on a daily basis, one in front of the Takayama Jinya and one along Miyagawa River. Most stands sell local crafts and farm products such as vegetables, pickles and flowers.

Get There and Around

Takayama's old town can be reached in a ten minute walk from Takayama Station.

How to get to and around Takayama

Last updated: March 22, 2015
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