Takayama (高山) is a city in the mountainous Hida region of the Gifu Prefecture in Central Japan. Takayama retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. It now ranks as one of the prime candidate destinations among travelers wishing to add a rural element into their itineraries.
Takayama gained importance as a source of high quality timber and highly skilled carpenters during the feudal ages. The city was consequently put under direct control of the shogun and enjoyed quite a bit of prosperity considering its remote mountainous location. The Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn, is considered one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan, and showcases the town’s traditional woodworking skills.
Takayama is good place to stay a few days for travelers going to the Shirakawago world heritage village. Shirakawago is only 50 mins away by express bus from the Takayama Bus Terminal. Takayama not only has temple and shrine walking courses, it also has many hiking courses, waterfalls and mountain trekking routes as well for travelers seeking more of Japan’s untouched natural side. Takayama is a hub city with access anywhere in Central Japan, including the Japan Alps (Shinhotaka), Alpine Route (Tateyama-Kurobe), Kamikochi (a scenic mountain resort with trekking routes), Toyama, Kanazawa, Gero, Gujo, Gifu, and Nagoya.
In winter, from November to March, one can access ski resorts near Takayama. The high quality powdery snow is suited for skiers of all skill levels, from high-skilled speed skiers to absolute beginners on family vacation.