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Takayama in January - is it worth it? 2019/11/3 07:41
We have 2 weeks travel in Japan next January (2020); so far we have booked into Kanazawa for the first week (this is locked in).
Looking for a place to stay for the second week.
Our prime reason for going to Japan this January is to experience snow, however we do not ski or hike so not interested in ski / alpine resorts.
Our interests include eating, drinking, history, museums, history, walking around or just sitting watching life go by.
We are not interested in town hoping for a week, just want to stay in one town / city and maybe do some day trips from that place.
Research of Takayama indicates its a very touristy town and a bit of a Disneyland, is this true?
Would Takayama suit our needs? If not is there an town / city that could meet our needs other then Takayama?
thanks in advance

by GeoffOz  

Re: Takayama in January - is it worth it? 2019/11/3 14:18
While I am not the biggest Takayama fan and definitely wouldn't want to be there a week, it's not Disneyland, or at least didn't seem that way to me in 2017 when I actually went to both Takayama and Tokyo Disneyland.


by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Takayama in January - is it worth it? 2019/11/3 14:40
I probably am the biggest Takayama fan but I think 3 days would be plenty even if one of those days was slothing around the hotel (Hotel Associa would be my pick). It is only really a town, so you can see everything in a day or so, add a day trip to Shirakawa-go and you will see it all in 3 days. The Squirrel park is closed in winter as well though that is a couple of hour thing. The park itself is worth a hike, that is maybe half a day. Lunch at the beef places (the one with the dragon pictures in chalk, near the red bridge) is kind of a must for us so we build our days around that.

We keep going back for probably 2 days at a time which never feels enough but 3 days would seem too many (never have gotten to Hida Village though...).

I would also mention that Kanazawa is very rainy so it is slushy around that time of year, maybe further into January it is OK but I would have proper waterproof boots for it otherwise you will spend all night trying to dry boots and the bottom of your trousers.

I would consider shortening time and spending a night or two somewhere else. Hikone is a favourite suggestion of mine - Takayama to Nagoya - Nagoya to Maibara - Maibara to Hikone.

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Takayama in January - is it worth it? 2019/11/4 07:54
I am in Takayama right now. There is quite a lot in the town and it has different areas. Some is touristy/crowded, other parts are empty of tourists and you can actually enjoy the place. Yesterday afternoon there in one of the preservation area streets there were seven other people - this is on a busy holiday weekend day. Other side of town hundreds.

Outside of the preservation areas (where the buses dump hundreds of people) it is a pleasant place to spend time, with the usual neighbourhoods, minor temples/shrines and the other features that make up a place. There are a few nice spots I like to visit/explore when I have time - certainly not places that get into the guidebooks or recommendations from sites like Japan-Guide, but that's what having time allows you to do.

I would struggle to spend more than three days in Kanazawa (as I find it less interesting than Takayama), but I wouldn't plan on a week in Takayama either.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Takayama in January - is it worth it? 2019/11/6 10:09
Shirakawa is more like the Disneyland place compared to Takayama. I have been to the region once in January - lots of snow for sure. For the kind of experience that you are looking for - take a look at Pension Hida no Mori located just outside of Takayama - cozy fire place, amazing food, comfortable rooms and beautiful surroundings. I wrote about it here: https://bizarrejourneys.com/pension-hida-no-mori/

If you are really into snow - the central Hokkaido is also wroth checking out. I really love Biei area with its landscape beauty.
by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

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