1. Takayama: Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide
Located in Gifu Prefecture on the main island of Honshu, Takayama (or Hida-Takayama) is filled with historic charm and is also renowned for its natural beauty. Explore this ancient city with a local guide and see the best of what it has to offer on a private walking tour. Below are some things included as part of a typical itinerary that can be customized based on your wishes. Sanmachi Street has many houses and stores that date back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The area is lined with shops carrying local specialties and has a lively atmosphere with many people stopping to shop and eat here. Hida Folk Village is an open-air museum exhibiting over 30 traditional houses from the Hida Region, the mountainous district of Gifu Prefecture around Takayama. The houses were built during the Edo period and were relocated from their original places to create the museum in 1971. The Takayama Jinya served as the local government office headed by the officials dispatched from Edo (present-day Tokyo). The building complex was in official use until 1969 and is now open to the public as a museum. Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market is held daily in Takayama between 7:00 AM (8:00 AM in winter) and 12:00 AM. The Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa River in the old town and the Jinya-mae Market in front of the Takayama Jinya sell local crafts, snacks, and produce. Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall shows key aspects of the Takayama Festival. The festival takes place for two days each spring and autumn and, along with Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Yomatsuri, is considered to be one of Japan's three most beautiful. Hida Kokubunji Temple is a Buddhist temple. Its iconic three-storied pagoda was constructed in 1820. A Buddhist statue thought to have been made in the Heian period is enshrined in the main building. Be sure to check out the huge gingko tree on the grounds. It is over 1260 years old. Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in Takayama is the venue for the Takayama Festival in the autumn. Next to the shrine is the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, or Yatai Kaikan, where four of the actual floats used in the festival are on display. The Kusakabe Folk Museum is a historic private residence that has been opened to the public. The building was constructed during the Meiji period in an Edo architectural style. The entire building is designated important cultural property of Japan.