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This charming town was established in the 16th century


The Japanese believe that the mountains are the abode of holy spirits and consider them sacred. This profound belief has helped them to preserve the innumerable mountain shrines, temples and villages across the country, making them ideal destinations for travellers wishing to explore authentic rural countryside and serene nature. Takayama, located in the heart of the Hida Mountains in Gifu prefecture is an excellent example.

The charming town was established in the 16th century. It became an important merchant town and a source of high quality timber and highly skilled craftsmen during the Edo period and in fact, many of the temples in Kyoto were built by the workers from Hida-Takayama.

Its historic district of Sanmachi Suji exudes old world charm with well-preserved merchant houses, tea houses and old sake bars that look almost exactly as they would have done a century ago and its temples and shrines have earned it the nickname of “little Kyoto in Hida”.

Japan - Takayama

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Takayama Festival, considered one of the most beautiful in Japan, dates back to the mid-1600s and is held twice a year in spring and autumn with parades featuring ornate, gilded floats and puppet shows. 

The town’s must-see sights include the vibrant morning market and various shops, museums and sake breweries located within the historic district. For active travellers, villages and countryside around Takayama are perfect for cycling and walking.

Takayama is also a convenient base for visiting Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, UNESCO World Heritage Sites widely regarded as one of the most scenic regions in the country.

The area is famous for unique Japanese thatched-roof farmhouses locally known as ‘gassho-zukuri’, built 200-300 years ago. Their unique design is particularly good for withstanding very heavy snowfall the region normally receives.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.

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