Travel . Lifestyle . Dining


Central Japan Road Trip Itinerary - Takayama

After our trip to Kurobe, we set off to Takayama. Situated in the Gifu prefecture, Takayama is located right in the centre of Japan. The old town lined with Edo-style buildings has charmed many locals and tourist. The city offers a different type of experience compared to cities like Tokyo and Osaka. 

Hida Folk Village
First stop was Hida Folk. The open-air museum is home to 30 old farmhouse illustrating traditional homes with thatched and shingled roofs. One can enter the village to understand the carefully preserved exhibits tools and life of the traditional folks. Unfortunately, we visited late. Otherwise, it would have been a fun one!

Miyagawa Morning Market
The next morning, we visited Miyagawa Morning Market. The most common item you would find in the morning market or old town is Hida Beef. Although not as popular as Kobe beef internationally, Hida beef is equally premium among the locals. It has won the Wagyu Olympics in 2002 and many said that the pure spring water in Gifu Prefecture has contributed to the quality meat. Unfortunately, I don’t take beef so we decide to skip it.

Other than Hida Beef, one can find many street foods in the morning market as well as traditional Japanese sweet there. The most unique item I tried is the Tamago-look alike thing that is made from egg white that had a sweet taste.
Takayama Old Town
Just streets away from the morning market, one can visit the popular old town in Takayama. The buildings in the old town are beautifully preserved from the Edo Period. There are a couple of traditional sake breweries in Sannomachi that has years of history. Naturally, we kickstart our day with sake tasting. For 500 Y/pax one can try different sake and bring home the sake glass home as souvenirs. 
The tourist street has many cafes and souvenirs shop converted from old homes. We took the opportunity to visit one of the cafés in Sammomachi that is off the tourist radar because there are only Japanese words and menu and the shopfront.  Plus, it looks quiet on the outside and for a moment I thought it was closed. We took off our shoes and proceed to the second level of the café.  Dessert was delicious and definitely a great place to chill and escape from the crowd.

Kamikochi is the most popular and well preserved mountainous highland valley alps in northern Japan. It is also said to be stunning during autumn so we had to check it out ourselves. We took the bus from and found ourselves taking a leisure walk along Azusa River. The view was indeed beautiful. Sadly, it was raining heavily and we didn’t manage to explore the whole place. Otherwise, it would have been great! 
Afterwards, we found ourselves a home-style restaurant and treated ourselves delicious Japanese local food. They are nothing fancy but very well prepared! The tofu perfectly cooked and even had cheese on top of it. The Vegetable-fried fritter soba was nice, not overly oily and perfect for the weather! Do visit if you have a chance to!


Address: 868-3 Okuhida Onsengo Hitoegane, Takayama, Gifu 506-1432, Japan
Opening Hour: 10an - 2pn, 5pm - 8pm. Daily except for Thursday 

At night, we stayed at a ryokan in Takayama Sansui and it was memorable. Waking up in the mountain with fresh air and enjoying the peace from the ryokan is one of the best things. Plus, they have really cool private onsen. Definitely not the luxury stay but it was cosy and felt homely. We even visited a unique morning market designed for local tourist next to our hotel and it was definitely something H & I enjoyed doing together.

Overall our experience in Takayama had been great. Although the city is pretty crowded, walking along the old town is romantic and fun. If we had more time, we could have visited Shirakawa-go. 

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