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Located outside of Takayama's city center, the Matsuri no Mori (まつりの森, lit. "Festival Forest") showcases the key aspects of the Takayama Festival, which takes place for two days each spring and autumn. The festival is known as one of Japan's three most beautiful, along with Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Yomatsuri.

From the museum's entrance, an approximately 50 meter long hallway leads to the main exhibition space which is located underground, giving it a cave-like atmosphere. The hallway is lined on the left by eleven miniature festival floats, one third the size of those used in the autumn festival. On the right are ostentatious golden-lacquered folding screens which depict famous floats from festivals in Kyoto and other cities.

At the main exhibition space, a number of magnificent, life-sized replica floats are displayed, offering visitors a close view at their elaborate designs, decorations and karakuri dolls. Karakuri dolls are marionettes which are a key feature in the Takayama Festival. They are usually manipulated by puppeteers, but the museum uses machine-operated ones for demonstration performances that are held frequently throughout the day.

Matsuri no Mori further displays several huge taiko drums, said to be the biggest drums in the world. Visitors are able to enjoy the rich timbre of these percussion instruments through one of the scheduled shows. The museum offers limited English but the exhibits are entertaining even for non-Japanese speakers.

Getting there and around

The Matsuri no Mori festival museum can be reached in a 15 minute Sarubobo Bus ride from Takayama Station south of the city center. There are hourly connections, and the fare is 100 yen per ride or 500 yen for a 1-day pass.

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Hotels around Takayama

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    • Iori Stay
      Luxury
      Renovated in 2015, Iori Stay is nestled in Takayama. This traditional Japanese-style townhouse was created in collaboration with local artists and boasts designs with both modern and traditional Japanese influence. Guests will have the entire property to themselves during their stay. Free pick-up from JR Takayama Station is available upon request. All units are entirely non-smoking and have a kitchen equipped with a microwave and fridge. A stove-top and kettle are also available.There is a private bathroom with slippers in every unit. Towels are provided. A traditional Japanese-style breakfast is served on site. Vegan and vegetarian meals are available upon request.
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    • Sumiyoshi Ryokan
      Luxury
      Located just a 1-minute walk from popular Miyagawa Morning Market in the heart of Takayama, Sumiyoshi Ryokan offers homely Japanese-style accommodation in the historic townhouse building. Free WiFi is available at the lobby and guestrooms. This hotel was selected as one of the Top 25 B&Bs and Inns in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2015. The inn is a 12-minute walk from JR Takayama Station. Takayama Jinya, an old government building, is a 7-minute walk away, and the streets full of old merchants’ houses can be reached within a 10-minute walk from the property. Rooms are fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon bedding. A low table and a TV with satellite channels are provided. Guests can relax in the room with free green tea. Ryokan Sumiyoshi has a spacious public baths and a small Japanese garden. There are many antiques like pots and samurai armours displayed at the lobby. Carefully prepared Japanese multi-course dinner, including Hida Beef sukiyaki dish, can be enjoyed at the guest room. Guests can choose to have either Japanese or Western breakfast to satisfy their appetite in the morning.
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    • Guesthouse Tomaru
      Budget-friendly
      Just a 2-minute walk from JR Takayama Train Station and Takayama Nohi Bus Center, Guesthouse Tomaru offers an renovated 80-year old Japanese-style accommodation. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. Sanmachi Important Preservation District is a 10-minute stroll. Guests at Guesthouse Tomaru can experience Japanese-style futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor in the private rooms. Dormitory rooms have futon bedding as well; bottom bunks sit directly on the tatami flooring, and top bunks use a wooden bunk bed frame. Free coffee and tea are provided at the kitchen, which is equipped with a microwave, a rice cooker, a hot plate, a toaster, a fridge and some kitchenware. You will find a shared bathroom and shower room comes with free toiletries. Safe deposit is available free of charge. Friendly staff can assist guests with local tourist information. The guest house is a 8-minute walk to Miyagawa Morning Market, and a 10-minute walk to the Takayama Jinya historical government outpost and Jinya Morning Market. Higashiyama Temple is a 15-minute walk. A Family Mart convenience store is just a 1-minute walk away, and there are some dining options within a 10-minute stroll.
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    • Residence Hotel Takayama Station
      Luxury
      Set in Takayama and with Takayama Station reachable within 200 metres, Residence Hotel Takayama Station offers a fitness centre, non-smoking rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a terrace. This 4-star hotel offers luggage storage space. Private parking is available on site. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a microwave, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV, a balcony and a private bathroom with a shower. At Residence Hotel Takayama Station all rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a ? la carte breakfast. Popular points of interest near Residence Hotel Takayama Station include Fuji Folk Museum, Yoshijima Heritage House and Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall. The nearest airport is Toyama Airport, 83 km from the hotel.
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    • HOTEL WOOD TAKAYAMA
      Luxury
      Conveniently situated in Takayama, HOTEL WOOD TAKAYAMA provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private parking. Featuring a bar, the hotel is close to several noted attractions, around less than 1 km from Takayama Station, a 3-minute walk from Fuji Folk Museum and 600 metres from Yoshijima Heritage House. The property is allergy-free and is located 2.9 km from Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village. At the hotel, the rooms are equipped with a desk. At HOTEL WOOD TAKAYAMA each room comes with bed linen and towels. An Asian breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Guests at HOTEL WOOD TAKAYAMA will be able to enjoy activities in and around Takayama, like cycling. Speaking English and Japanese at the reception, staff are ready to help around the clock. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall, Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine and Takayama Festival Float Exhibition Hall. The nearest airport is Toyama Airport, 84 km from HOTEL WOOD TAKAYAMA.
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    • Oyado Koto No Yume
      Luxury
      Just a 2-minute walk from Takayama Station, Oyado Koto No Yume offers Japanese-style rooms with a colourful touch. The hotel features hot-spring baths, a restaurant serving breakfast and free WiFi throughout the property. This ryokan is introduced in Michelin Green Guide Japan. Rooms feature tatami-mat flooring and traditional futon bedding. They are equipped with a 40-inch flat-screen TV, fridge, coffee maker and green tea set. Attached bathrooms come with a shower, bathtub and toiletries. Japanese-style hotel Koto No Yume Oyado is only a 2-minute walk from Kokubunji Temple. The Miyagawa Morning Market and the historical Old Private Houses are less than a 10-minute stroll away. Guests at Koto No Yume Hotel can soak in an indoor or outdoor hot-spring bath, or in a semi-outdoor hot tub for private use. Massages are available. In addition, staff are readily available to help guests put on Japanese yukata robes. A Western or Japanese breakfast is available at Oyado Koto No Yume. Shirakawago can be accessed within a 50-minute bus ride; the bus terminal is located a 2-minute walk from the property.
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    • Sakura Guest House
      Budget-friendly
      Sakura Guest House is a 10-minute walk from Hida Takayama-mura Folk Village, and offers private and dormitory rooms with free Wi-Fi and shared bathrooms. The entire interior is non-smoking, and parking is free. Refurbished in 2011, rooms at Guest House Sakura are carpeted and offer mountain or nature views. Private rooms have seating area. JR Takayama Train Station is 1.3 km from the guest house, and Shiroyama Park is a 10-minute drive. Hida Gokoku Shrine and Hida Takayama Museum of Art are both 300 metres away. Bicycle rental is available. The hostel is just a 1-minute walk from Yuukou-no-Oka bus stop, which is a 10-minute bus ride from the Takayama bus terminal. A free-use internet station and a coin launderette are provided. The common area has a wood-burning stove and a TV. A microwave is included in the free-use kitchen.
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    • eph TAKAYAMA
      Luxury
      Featuring 4-star accommodation, eph TAKAYAMA is situated in Takayama, 2.3 km from Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village and 600 metres from Fuji Folk Museum. Featuring a restaurant, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property is 100 metres from the city centre and 200 metres from Takayama Station. All rooms at the hotel are fitted with a seating area. The rooms include a kettle, a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box, while some rooms are fitted with a balcony and some have city views. At eph TAKAYAMA every room comes with bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet or a continental breakfast. With staff speaking English and Japanese, advice is available at the reception. Popular points of interest near eph TAKAYAMA include Yoshijima Heritage House, Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall and Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine. The nearest airport is Toyama Airport, 83 km from the hotel.
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    • Ryokan Asunaro
      Luxury
      On just a 6-minute walk from Takayama Station, traditional Japanese-style Ryokan Asunaro offers comfortable rooms with a seating area and free WiFi. The hotel features a relaxing public hot-spring bath and free yukata robe rental for women. Meals provided at this ryokan features local ingredients for guests to enjoy. The traditional decor of the rooms evokes a warm atmosphere with paintings by local artists on the fusuma sliding doors. Each room includes an LCD TV, minibar and electric kettle make for a convenient stay. Rooms have tatami-mat flooring and futon bedding. Complimentary bottle of water is provided in every room. From Asunaro Ryokan it is a 7-minute walk to the morning market, and a 10-minute walk from Old Town and Takayama Jinya. Shirakawa-go Village is located a 50-minute bus ride away, and the bus stop for the village is a 5-minute walk away. Guests at the Asunaro can soak away the day's fatigue in the hot public bath, which is made of granite stone. Also, private shower booths are available for staying guests.The ryokan features a garden and drinks vending machines, and offers bicycle rentals. The property offers traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast at the banquet hall. Western breakfast can be arranged with a prior request. Complimentary coffee can be enjoyed in the lobby every morning.
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    • Temple Hotel Takayama Zenkoji
      Luxury
      Set in Takayama and with Takayama Station reachable within 500 metres, Temple Hotel Takayama Zenkoji offers a garden, non-smoking rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a shared lounge. This 4-star hotel offers a shared kitchen and luggage storage space. Private parking is available on site. The units will provide guests with a fridge. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Fuji Folk Museum, Yoshijima Heritage House and Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibition Hall. The nearest airport is Toyama Airport, 84 km from Temple Hotel Takayama Zenkoji.
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