For my 9 months here in japan, I can’t count how many times I have visited Takayama. Takayama is located in the Gifu area and it has drawn many local tourists. Now Takayama’s goal is to have more foreign tourists and I tell you, it’s worth a visit. Takayama is a six-hour trip by bus from Tokyo, and two and a half hour bus ride from Nagoya. The first thing that you will notice in visiting this lovely city is their cold weather even in the summer. However, don’t be put off by this, as Takayama has many great things to offer aside from the weather.
One such place is Shiroyama Park, beside the castle ruins on top of the mountain.
For those who love to go hiking or trekking, this place is a must for you, but beware of bears and deer that roam around. Regardless there is a hotel located in this area, and also a park which overlooks the city itself, which is not surprising since the former samurai of Takayama used to live in the mountain. There is also a very old shrine with 9 red tori that you have to pass before you reach the god, it is said that it will purify you before meeting kitsune.
Takayama has its own village, but the best part is that many of these have stood against time. Here you will find the souvenir and their mascot sarubobo, or “monkey baby” dolls.
Also you will find many interesting old fashioned advertising, samurai clothing that was preserved and you can try foods that are cooked the old fashioned way, such as rice cakes.
Another place that you can visit along the city is the red bridge in which you can make a wish from the god’s statue on that bridge.
Last but not the least, Don’t forget to try Takayama’s pride, the HIDA GYU, this beef is very famous in Takayama and it’s expensive, but believe me, the price is worth it.You can have this beef at the restaurants around Takayama.
There are countless shrines to visit in Takayama and some shrines or temples offer cheap lodging for ¥1,000 per person/day. You can bike around Takayama during summer or go skiing during winter. You can also ask the tourist information for the popular ramen and yakisoba shop that has been running for almost 80 years now. But of course they have countless numbers of restaurants to choose from. the last leg of the trip would be the Gero onsen with its natural hot spring, located in a spot just before you reach Takayama. It’s perfect after you enjoy skiing!