Andrea Urbinati

Things to do in Old Village Takayama

Di Andrea Urbinati

blogger, andrea urbinati, marketing, copywriting, seo
Old Village of Takayama

Takayama’s old village is a charming throwback to Japan’s feudal era. The southern half of the old town, especially Sannomachi Street, is a well-preserved area with ancient homes, shops, and sake breweries. For a glimpse into the past, some homes in the old town open their doors to the public, showcasing traditional household goods and local arts and crafts. If you’re up for a unique experience, consider exploring the old town on a rickshaw. Additionally, the area offers attractions such as Takayama Jinya, old sake breweries, Fujii Art Gallery, Takayama Museum of History and Art, and Takayama Showa Museum. In the northern area, you’ll find the picturesque Hachiman Shrine.

Stepping Into the Past: Takayama’s Historical Charm

Takayama’s Old Town, also known as Sannomachi Street, is a picturesque district that exudes the essence of traditional Japan. This historic area is renowned for its well-preserved buildings, narrow streets, and quaint shops, offering visitors a glimpse into the Edo period.

The Significance of Takayama’s Old Town

Takayama’s Old Town holds significant cultural and historical importance as it has retained its traditional charm over the centuries. The architecture reflects the design and aesthetic of Japan’s past, with buildings constructed from dark, natural wood and latticed windows characteristic of the region. Walking through Sannomachi Street feels like stepping back in time, evoking a sense of nostalgia and wonder.

Visitors can explore traditional sake breweries, charming teahouses, and local craft stores, each offering a unique perspective on Takayama’s rich cultural heritage. The meticulously preserved architecture and cobblestone streets create an immersive experience, allowing travelers to connect with Japan’s historical roots.

Engaging with the local community and witnessing age-old traditions firsthand adds depth to the visit, unveiling the vibrant tapestry of Takayama’s past. Whether it’s observing artisans at work or savoring regional delicacies, the Old Town encapsulates the timeless allure of Japanese heritage.

Old Village of Takayama, feudal era of japan

Architectural Wonders of Old Village Takayama

Takayama Jinya: A Step Back in Time

Takayama Jinya holds a significant place in history, with roots dating back to 1692 when it operated as a branch office of the Edo Bakufu (Shogunate) during the Tokugawa Shoguns’ reign. It stands out as the sole remaining structure of its kind among approximately 60 administrative areas governed directly by the Bakufu, playing a pivotal role in overseeing government affairs like tax collections, policing, and financial matters. Since Japan’s return to imperial rule in 1867, the building has served as the prefecture’s government office. The complex comprises an administrative office and grand hall, both constructed in the early 1800s, along with a 1600s rice storehouse, offering visitors a glimpse into its rich history.

Traditional Merchant Houses: Preserving Cultural Heritage

The traditional merchant houses in Takayama’s old village are a testament to the town’s prosperous merchant era. These well-preserved buildings showcase the town’s identity and craftsmanship, featuring exquisite architectural designs and historical significance.

The architectural wonders of Takayama’s old village, particularly Takayama Jinya and the traditional merchant houses, offer a captivating insight into the town’s rich heritage and historical legacy.

Cultural Treasures in Takayama

Savoring Tradition

As I stepped into the quaint streets of Takayama, I was greeted by a treasure trove of tradition and culture. The town’s commitment to preserving its rich heritage is evident in every corner, from the beautifully preserved Edo-period architecture to the serene canals and friendly carp that add a touch of whimsy to the historical charm. Walking through the historic Shirakabe Dozogai Street, I was immersed in the beauty of the iconic white plaster walls and the bustling history that once filled these streets. It was a glimpse into the town’s past, a living testament to its enduring traditions.

Takayama Tradition Photo by Pixabay

Fujii Art Gallery

For art enthusiasts, the Fujii Art Gallery is a must-visit, showcasing a stunning collection of traditional Japanese art. As I wandered through the gallery, I was captivated by the intricate details and vibrant colors of the paintings, each telling a story of Japan’s cultural heritage. From delicate brushwork to bold compositions, the gallery offered a deep dive into the artistic legacy of Takayama, leaving me with a profound appreciation for the local artistry.

Discover Local Lore

Delving deeper into the town’s narrative, I found myself at the Hida-Furukawa Festival Exhibition Hall, where artifacts and exhibits vividly narrated tales of the town’s traditions. It was a journey through time, unveiling the vibrant festivals, local craftsmanship, and the significance of the town’s diverse cultural celebrations. The immersive experience provided a deeper understanding of the historical roots that continue to shape Takayama’s identity.

Takayama Heritage Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata

Retro Vibes

As the day wound down, I couldn’t help but revel in the retro vibes that permeated through the town. The blend of old and new coexisted harmoniously, creating a unique atmosphere that felt both nostalgic and vibrant. Takayama’s streets, lined with artisanal shops and traditional workshops, exuded a timeless charm that transported me to a bygone era while also celebrating the contemporary spirit of the town.

As the sun set, casting a warm glow over Takayama, I reflected on the cultural treasures I had encountered throughout the day. Each experience had offered a glimpse into the heart of traditional Japan, leaving me with a deeper appreciation for the town’s enduring heritage and the vibrant tapestry of its cultural treasures.

Religious Sites and Symbols of Takayama

Takayama is home to a rich tapestry of religious sites and symbols, each with its own historical and cultural significance. One of the most notable religious sites in Takayama is the Hachiman Shrine. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance and marvel at the stunning architecture that embodies the essence of Japanese spirituality.

Hachiman Shrine

The Hachiman Shrine, nestled amidst the lush greenery of Takayama, is a testament to the enduring spiritual heritage of the region. As I meandered through the shrine’s grounds, the towering pagoda and intricate wooden carvings left me in awe of the craftsmanship and dedication that went into its construction. The air was filled with a palpable sense of tranquility, inviting visitors to pause and reflect on the sanctity of this revered space.

I recommend taking a leisurely stroll around the shrine, allowing ample time to absorb the intricate details of the architecture, including the vibrant vermillion hues that adorn the buildings. The serene surroundings offer a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, providing a rare opportunity for introspection and spiritual rejuvenation.

Photo by Pixabay Pagoda in Gray Scale Shot

Experiencing Takayama’s Charm

Takayama’s charm is unmistakable, offering a delightful blend of cultural experiences, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Let’s explore the three facets of this enchanting destination: rickshaw rides, shopping, and cuisine.

Rickshaw Rides

Rickshaw Ride Photo by Maahid Photos

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the old-world atmosphere of Takayama is by taking a leisurely rickshaw ride through its quaint streets. Pulled by friendly and knowledgeable guides, the rickshaws offer a unique perspective, allowing you to appreciate the town’s preserved Edo-period buildings, serene temples, and immaculately preserved traditional houses. The rhythmic sound of the rickshaw’s wheels against the cobblestone streets adds to the charm, making it a captivating experience that transports you back in time.


Takayama Shopping Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Takayama’s streets are lined with unique shops offering an array of handcrafted goods, artisanal crafts, and local souvenirs. Strolling through the bustling markets, you’ll find intricately designed pottery, delicate ceramics, and vibrant tapestries that reflect the town’s rich artistic heritage. The warm hospitality of the shopkeepers and the distinct aroma of traditional incense create a sensory experience that encapsulates the essence of Takayama’s old-world charm.


Takayama’s culinary scene is a testament to its cultural diversity, offering a delectable fusion of traditional Japanese flavors and local delicacies. Indulge in savory skewers of succulent Hida beef, savor the unique flavors of sake brewed in the surrounding mountains, and sample the town’s renowned sweets, including sweet bean buns and melt-in-your-mouth Hida chestnut confections. Every dish is a celebration of the region’s rich culinary heritage, ensuring a gastronomic journey that will leave a lasting impression.

In Takayama, the allure of rickshaw rides, shopping, and cuisine converge to create an enchanting tapestry of experiences that capture the true essence of this timeless town.


Exploring Takayama’s old village is like stepping back in time to the feudal ages of Japan. The beautifully preserved buildings and streets offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history as a thriving merchant town. Visitors can wander through traditional homes, sake breweries, and museums, immersing themselves in the local culture and craftsmanship. Whether strolling on foot or enjoying a rickshaw ride, the old town of Takayama invites travelers to experience the charm and heritage of Japan’s past.

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About the author
blogger, andrea urbinati, marketing, copywriting, seo

Hi! I’m Andrea, a passionate freelance writer with a knack for captivating storytelling.

With a decade of marketing expertise and a genuine love for crafting compelling content, I bring your ideas to life!

Let me know if you need a writer for your blog!

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