Takayama is a beautiful town in the Japanese Alps.  It is famous for it’s festivals, markets and old-fashioned atmosphere.  It makes for a nice trip away from cities such as Kyoto or Nagoya.

Budget travel tips

  • Pick up a free map of the area at the Tourist Information Office (see map) opposite the station.
  • Cut down costs and hassle by getting the Takayama Bus Pass from the bus ticket office outside Takayama station.

Things to do

yakayama_old_townOld Town

Take a walk around this area, which is full of old, traditional buildings and shops.  Some will be showing off how they make their sake or goods, so there is lots to see.

Takayama_JinyaTakayama Jinya

The old government offices of Takayama.

Open: 8:45 to 17:00

Price: 420 yen

takayama_morning_marketMorning Markets (FREE)

Get some cheap local food and other goods from here, from around 6:30 in the morning to noon.

hida_folk_villageHida Folk Village

A really interesting open air museum with loads to see and try out.  It’s worth the price.  Get easy to use bus from Takayama station or walk here (about 20 minutes).

Open: 8:30 to 17:00

Price: Adults 700 yen, Children 200 yen

hida_folk_village_forestForest of Seven Lucky Gods

A quite steep, but short hike up a mountain to former castle ruins.  The easiest way to access the forest is to enter the Hida Folk Village, then follow the signs leading to it (Matukura-yama/松倉山).

Sakurayama_HachimanguSakurayama Hachimangu Shrine  (FREE)

Lovely shrine with a festival floats exhibition hall next to it.

Open: All day

Price: Free (Exhibition Hall 820 yen)

wa_no_yuFoot Baths (FREE)

There are a few free foot baths scattered around Takayama. See the map for locations. They are usually just outside a hot spring, so check these out if you have an interest.

hida_furukawa_townHida Furukawa 

A short train ride from Takayama, Hida Furukawa is much quieter and more compact traditional Japanese town.  Escape the crowds of Takayama here.

How to get there

With the Japan Rail Pass

First, take the Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Nagoya station.

From Nagoya station, take the Limited Express Wide View to Takayama station (2 hours).

Without the Japan Rail Pass

From one of the main Japan cities get a bus with Nohi Bus.


Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Ryokan Murayama

Free station shuttle service, nice Japanese rooms and reasonably priced traditional breakfasts. Check prices at Booking.com

K’s House Takayama

A new addition to this hostel chain, this is a no-frills hostel with good prices and a convenient location. Check prices at Booking.com

More at Booking.com

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict