Takayama : a dynamic town with a traditional atmosphere

Takayama, located in Hida, a region in the north of the Gifu prefecture, is a pulsing city full of life. “木 の 文化” (Ki no Bunka) Wood culture is the key word when visiting Takayama. Since the ancient era of Nara (710 AD), wood carving techniques have been improved in this city surrounded by mountains. It is not uncommon to find, even in places such as Kyoto, structures or wooden statues made in Takayama.

The city of Takayama, famous throughout Japan for its wood crafts, hosts Takayama’s “matsuri” twice a year, during spring and autumn. A local festival to thank the gods for the arrival of spring and autumn. The symbol of the festival is the wooden cart “Yatai”, pride of the artisans of Takayama.

Architecture and history

The main attraction is certainly the old city (市内-shinai) almost unchanged since Edo period (1603-1868).

In the center of its historical area is located the 高山 陣 屋 -Takayama Jinya, the ancient home of the shogunate- heart of the city. During the Edo period it was a sort of city hall where the Shogun and his men used to live.

Go back to the Edo period-Japan by walking around the streets

The buildings have remained the same as they were in the Japanese middle age.

高山陣屋-Takayama Jinya

Street food

Takayama is known all over Japan for it’s specially delicious beef : The Hida beef. Extremely tender and juicy, you will find places to taste it under various forms all other the town, and even as sushi.

If you are not such a fond of meet, we recommand you the Hida-Ramen, or an other well known speciality : the Gohemochi. This rice cake baked with caramelized miso follows the traditonal way of cooking of the region, using a miso as seasoning in loads of dishes.

Hida beef sushi, exclusive to the Hida region. It is served on a "senbe" a cracker made of rice

"Gohemochi" Rice cake baked with caramelized with miso.

"Hidagyuman" Light dough bun stuffed with Hida beef.

Activities we offer in Takayama

Shodo, or Japanese traditionnal art of calligraphy

Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles when traveling in Japan is in fact the language that is impossible to read for those who have not studied Japanese. To help you understand this writing system, we take you to a Shodo class in most of our tours. Through this workshop you will discover the link between the Japanese writing system and the art of calligraphy.

During the course we will use the traditionnal tools : you will write on a shikishi, a special rigid paper, and the instructor will explain how to write your favorite ideogram. Of course you can take your best artworks home as a souvenir!

Japanese traditionnal tea preparation

Here you will assist to the traditionnal Japanese way of preparing tea. An expert will show you how to prepare green tea and we will taste it accompagnied by local sweets and a brief lesson will be held about the fundamentals of Japanese culture.

Many of you may have wondered: Why do Japanese people bow ? Why do they apologize so much ? Why is the culture of respect so strong here in Japan, and where does it come from? To give you a hint: Shinto. We will explain this and much more to you in our small cultural session, hoping to help you to enjoy the rest of your trip in Japan to the fullest.

During the tea tasting a brief lesson will be held about the fundamentals of Japanese culture.

Classic Japanese tea set.

Discover our tours going to Takayama

Takayama One-Day Tour : Old Town, Shodo, Tea And Much More!

Get to understand the Japanese culture by trying out the most traditional arts and visiting one of the rare cities that has kept the spirit of ancient Japan.


Shirakawa GO And Satoyama Culture One-Day Tour : UNESCO World Heritage, Shodo, Tea And Much More!

Spend one day discovering the tradition of the japanese “Satoyama (里山)“, or mountain village. On the program : UNESCO Site of Shirakawa GO, calligraphy and tea in the beautiful village of Takayama.


Back To The Past : 3-Days Tour To Takayama, Higashi-Shirakawa And Inuyama

Visit some of the most fascinating places in the heart of Gifu Prefecture, by alternating between going to touristic monuments, staying in a remote village and trying local traditional activities.


Or discover our other tours in the heart of Gifu prefecture

Higashi-Shirakawa One-Day Tour : Rice, Tea, Shintoism, And Local Legends

Experience the life of a small mountain village, untouched by any foreign influence. This unique tour will allow you to spend one day as a local, between work in the fields, relaxing around a good cup of tea and visit to a temple.