If you’re looking for a place to visit in Japan that is both extremely old and truly Japanese in its culture, go no farther than Takayama, a city in the mountainous Hida district of Gifu Prefecture. Popularly, people often say “Hida-Takayama,” which alludes to the province of Hida.
This area of Japan has stayed largely isolated due to its high altitude and physical isolation from other regions of Japan. Over the span of 300 years, Takayama was able to forge its own identity as a result. Lonely Planet, a popular travel guidebook, named this city as one of the top 10 destinations in Asia for 2017.
Plan a Trip to Takayama
The central area of Japan, which includes both Kanazawa and Nagoya, is one of the most visited in all of Japan. Because of its central location between the two, a detour to Takayama is a great idea. Shirakawa-go, not far from Takayama, is another fantastic day trip destination.
From Kanazawa or Nagoya, a trip to Takayama by train or bus will take around two hours. Views of the Hida River and Hida Mountains, as well as the valleys, bridges, and woods that run besides the railway lines, are breathtaking throughout the train ride.
Takayama’s top attractions
Takayama, nestled in the beautiful Hida Mountains, has a more rustic character than the more modern and well-known Kyoto. This is a great choice if you want to get a more authentic feel for Japan. Proper takayama festival tours come with the best destinations.
Market of Miyagawa
The Miyagawa Market is one of Takayama’s two morning markets, along with the Jinya-mae Market. It may be located on the Miyagawa River’s banks in the city’s old town. Locally created goods, as well as foodstuffs and farm-fresh goods like pickled vegetables, flowers, and fruits, may be purchased at the many vendors.
In the main exhibition hall, a number of fine replica floats will be on show, scaled to life size, so that visitors can get a close up look at the complex designs, decorations, and karakuri dolls and marionettes that play an essential part in the Takayama Festival.
Festival of Takayama
Along with the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto and the Chichibu Yomatsuri in Chichibu, the Takayama Festival is considered to be one of Japan’s three most significant festivals. Twice a year, on April 14 and 15, and again on October 9 and 10, people all across the world observe this holiday.
It is widely accepted that the first Takayama Festival took place somewhere between the 16th and 17th century, under the reign of the Kanamori family. The festival is held in Takayama’s old town and attracts a large number of visitors every year.
Both the Spring Festival and the Fall Festival
Each year in the spring, worshippers at the Hie Shrine in Takayama’s historic district rejoice by praying for a fruitful harvest. The spring festival is an annual celebration. The celebration is sometimes called the Sanno Festival, after the shrine, which is also known as Sanno-sama.
The Hachiman Festival, or Autumn Festival as it is more often known, is an annual celebration held in the old town’s northern section to offer thanks to the Hachiman Shrine, much as the spring festival is held in the southern section. There are many similarities between the spring festival and the fall celebration, despite their distinct timing. About a dozen yatai, or festival floats, are created specifically for each event.