Takayama was unexpectedly one of the main highlights of our 21 days in Japan Itinerary.

Takayama is a historic village in the mountainous Hida region of Japan. Dating back over 300 years to the Edo period, the wooden merchant houses are all well preserved and visiting here is like traveling back in time.

The pace is much slower here, compared with Tokyo and other cities, the air is fresh and it makes for a relaxing retreat away from the hustle and bustle.

We wanted our trip to include a stay in a traditional Japanese style Inn (Ryokan) and Futarishizuka Hakuun (Tripadvisor) surpassed our expectations. Offering great views over the city, a traditional Inn and a private Onsen. It had everything we wanted for a true and authentic experience.

We fully immersed ourselves in the traditions here especially when our inn provide kimonos & Yukatas for us to wear. One night we headed into town for some excellent ramen before returning to drink sake and get dressed up!

Takayama Highlights

  • Excellent food. Ramen, Hida Beef and Fired Chicken

  • Traditional Accommodation

  • Hida Folk Village

Takayama Old Town

Takayama has a beautiful old town at its centre and is a photographers paradise. Lots of Japanese shops, great food and fun to explore.

Hida Folk Village

Just outside of Takayama, is the traditional Hida Folk Village (hida no sato). An open air museum with 30 traditional houses from the Hida region. The houses were built during the Edo period (1603 – 1867) and were relocated from their original locations to create the museum.

It takes about 40 minutes to walk or there is a bus you can catch just outside the train station. The “Sarubobo Bus” provides connections every 20-40 minutes for 210 yen per ride or 620 yen for a one day pass. It was a nice day so we chose to walk as we wanted to explore the surrounding area.

Walking back to Takayama

On the walk back to Takayama we found the Teaddy Bear café. Yes, you can have tea with toy bears, it makes a great pit stop and we found it very funny.

The remainder of our afternoon was spent exploring the rest of Takayama – there are a lot of different temples around the town and its lovely to explore, with the tree lined streets and streams.

The best fried chicken in all of Japan!

Now… where do we start with this discovery? We wanted to find a restaurant with a real authentic experience and great food.

After quite a bit of searching and walking the streets of Takayama we found Hida Takayama Gyoza Sohonzan. This small, and crazy, place has the best fried chicken we have ever tasted! The restaurant is famed for it’s Gyoza, which is awesome, but we found the chicken amazing.