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Takayama Old Town

Old Town of Takayama
Takayama Old Town or Old Quarter is located about one hour from Shirakawa-Go and about two hours from Nagoya city and this place sits in a basin surrounded by beautiful scenic mountains.

Takayama is also well known for the famous Hida Beef, the traditional Old Quarter of Takayama, the Morning Market and Takayama Jinya which is an interesting government house museum. 

While you visit here, exploring the Old Quarter of Takayama on foot is highly recommended as there are many things to see and also to sample the local Japanese snacks and food here.

There are also two morning markets located here which are the Miyagawa Morning Market and the other is the Takayama Jinya Morning Market next to the Miya River. 

Takayama Old Town

local japanese snacks in takayama
Japanese local snacks sold at the morning market
morning market in takayama
Morning market vendor selling local homegrown produce
The morning market is another exciting place to visit as the vendors here sell freshly picked fruit, homemade pickles, Japanese sweets and local Japanese handicraft.

This place is also best visited in the spring and summer as it tends to be much more lively compared to the winter period.

Among the other things found around Takayama are craft like pottery, ‘Ichii Ittobori’ wood carvings, Hida furniture and famous Japanese sake breweries.  

Sarubobo Photo
Sarubobo Dolls
Satubobo dolls hanging outside a local home
One of the must-get items is the traditional good luck charm called Sarubobo which is one of the popular souvenirs in Takayama.

A dialect of Hida, Sarubobo means baby monkey which is to protect one from evil and provide good luck.

It is also used for good luck in matchmaking, marriage as well as safe childbirth while different colours depict the different types of luck too.

These are sold in various sizes, a keychain sized one will cost about RM3 to RM5 each while a medium sized doll will cost about RM50 to RM100. They do have much larger ones which cost about RM300. 

Below are random photos taken around Takayama Old Town in Nagoya during winter 2014 which was in mid January.

Photos of Takayama Old Town

Takayama Old Town
Takayama Old Town Street
Various shops along a walkway at the old quarter
Old Quarter Takayama
Souvenir shop in the old quarter of Takayama
shops in takayama japan
Another souvenir and snack shop at the old quarter
Snack shop in Takayama
Japanese Ice Cream and snack shop
Takayama shops
Shop selling local snacks
Souvenirs from Takayama
A local shop selling snacks and grilled food
Takayama Jinya Museum
Address: 1-5 Hachiken-machi, Takayama city, Gifu
Walking: 10 minutes from Takayama Station
Hours: 8.45am - 5.00pm
Entrance: 420 Yen 

Takayama Jinya is a former government outpost that was established to bring the Hida Province under the direct control of the Edo Bakufu who was a Shogun.

The main building was reconstructed in 1816, and remains intact today however, the building complex was in official use until 1969, and is now open to the public as a museum.

Inside you will find well maintained tatami mat rooms that once served as offices, conference rooms, guest rooms, residential space and a very interesting interrogation room. Recommended for those who love history.

Museum of Takayama Jinya
Inside Takayama Jinya
Map of Takayama Jinya
Layout of Takayama Jinya
Takayama Food 

While it is a must-try for food lovers, the old quarter offers some interesting traditional and also modern day Japanese dishes to sample.

When you are exploring Takayama Old Town, you should try the popular ‘Mitarashi Dango’ which is skewered rice balls painted with sweet soy sauce can be found throughout the area.

There are a variety of other local snacks therefore it is best to walk around and try them all over town. Be sure to have small chance when doing this too. 

For food lovers, the must-try dish when you are here is hands down the Hida Beef which is available in ‘Gyukushi’ - grilled skewers, ‘Gyuman’ - beef filled steamed rice buns, raw Hida beef sushi or simply best eaten in any of the restaurants or hotels around here.

Hida Beef comes from black cattle raised in rich natural surroundings and the finest quality called ‘Hida-Gyu’ can only be found at restaurants and hotels in Takayama.

So if you see Hida Beef being sold on the streets, these are the lower quality cuts of beef. 

Mitarashi Dango in Nagoya
Mitarashi Dango or Skewered Rice Balls
Japanese food in Takayama
Stewed beef, vegetables and raw egg
Japanese Sake from Takayama
Takayama Sake barrels
Old Quarter of Takayama
Takayama Old Quarter
Japanese Trishaws in Nagoya
Takayama Trishaws, one of the attractions here
How to get to Takayama?

Budget long haul airline AirAsia X used to fly to Chubu Centrair Airport in Nagoya, the third destination in Japan after Tokyo and Osaka. But they stopped the service, and you can now use other local Japanese airlines.

You can also take the scenic route by taking a train, bus or rented car to get to Takayama. However, you should note that language could be a problem if you do not know your way around.

From Tokyo, it will take roughly four and a half to five hours drive one way to Takayama, and from Osaka, it will take you around just under four hours drive.

If you plan to visit the village, and want a hassle free experience, it is recommended to use a tour company as you need at least one to two full days to visit Takayama Old Town.

1 comment

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures and very well written. I always wanted to travel to Malaysia. I might do it next summer. Do you think it is too hot in mid july? I found a good deal on http://reservationcounter.com/ that's why i'm thinking of booking it.