10 things to do in Takayama! Written by a Takayama Local.

So you are coming to Takayama, and searching for what to do? Well, you came to the right place!

I am Yusuke Nasu, a local living in Takayama town, who also runs several accommodations in Takayama.

And today, I will introduce 10 Best places to visit in Takayama!

*Note: All the attractions below are located in the central Takayama town. For day-trip destinations such as Shirakawago and Shinhotaka, please wait for my upcoming post!

No.1 Morning Market

So what is the best way to start a day in Takayama? I say in the morning markets.

The morning markets in Takayama takes 2 different places.

One is in front of Takayama Jinya, where they typically sell local food such as fruits, vegetables, and rice.

The other is along the Miyagawa River. Here, they mainly sell souvenirs.

If you want to see the life of Takayama locals, these morning markets are the best places.

Opening Hours: Typically 8:00 – 11:30 (varies by stores).
Closed: No closing day.

No.2 Takayama Jinya

If you are interested in architecture, Takayama Jinya is a place for you. This building was built in the 17th century. It served as the local government office.

Takayama Jinya showcases various rooms that once served as offices, conference rooms, guest rooms, and residential space.

A free English guided tour is available on request. For more details, please check here.

Opening Hours: 8:45-17:00 (-16:30 from November to February, -18:00 in August).
Closed: December 29, 31 and January 1.

No.3 Old town District

The most famous attraction of Takayama is the Old Town district. Traditional buildings dating from the 17th to 19th centuries are preserved and showcased in this area.

The area is 1-kilometer long. Of all, Sammachi Street is most lively with shops, cafes, and restaurants.

My 2 favorite shops are Kottegyu and Harada brewery.
At Kottegyu, you can try Takayama’s local cuisine Hida beef for just 700 yen.

At Harada brewery, you can try all different kinds of Sake for 300 yen. Yes, Sake for 300 yen. Enough said!

Opening Hours: Shops are typically open daily between 9:00-17:00.
Closed: Varies by stores.

No.4 Hida Takayama Town Museum

As you stroll Takayama, you may start wanting to learn more about this town. If that’s the case, the Hida Takayama Town Museum suits you well.

It is a municipal museum near the old town district. It exhibits Takayama Festival, traditional houses, the city’s history, local writers’ literature, and arts.

On the opposite side of the museum, you can also find “Takayama Traditional culture and crafts square” where you can see and experience traditional crafts of Takayama.

Opening Hours: 9:00-19:00.
Closed: No closing days.

No.5 Higashiyama Walking Course.

After soaking yourself to the tradition and the history of Takayama, you may want to explore the nature side of Takayama. For that, I would recommend the Higashiyama Walking Course.

It is about a four-kilometer long walking trail, where you will pass more than a dozen temples and shrines.

The course leads to the top of Shiroyama park, and then back to the central town.

It is a pleasant way to spend 2-3 hours and experience Takayama’s calmer side.

Opening Hours: 24 hours.
Closed: No closing days.

No.6 Sakurayama Shrine and Yatai Kaikan Museum

If you are tired of the crowd of the main street of the old town, Please head to the north. You will see the town becomes much calmer there.

At the end of the old town district, you will find a large “Torii” shrine gate standing. That’s is where the Sakurayama shrine located.

Every year on the 9th and 10th in October, the grand procession of the autumn Takayama Festival is held here.

Adjacent to the Sakurayama Shrine, there is the Takayama Festival Yatai Kaikan that exhibits the floats used in the festival.

The ticket also allows you to enter the Nikkoukan where one-tenth scale replicas of the Toshogu Shrine in the Nikko city are exhibited.

(Yatai Kaikan Museum)
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (-16:30 from December to February)
Closed: No closing days.

No.7 Retro Museum

First of all, let me start by saying that this museum is not for everybody. If you are not a big fan of old arcade games and home consoles, you can skip here. But for those of you who spent their youth playing these games, here offers a reminiscence.

There are numerous old games such as Space, Invaders, Donkey, Kong Missile Command, you name it. This museum can bring back your childhood.

Also, if you are with children, they may like here too.

Opening Hours: 9:30-17:30(-17:00 between December-February).
Closed: No closing days.

No.8 Hida folk village

If you don’t have time or budget to go to the world heritage Shirakawago, Hida Folk Village is the next best thing.

This is an open-air museum that showcases traditional houses of the Hida region.

The architectural highlights of the village are the traditional Gassho-Zukuri houses. These roofs resemble a pair of hands joined in prayer, which is called Gassho in Japanese.

Another interesting part of here is that they showcase Japanese traditional toys such as spinning tops and Kendama.

Here is a great way to spend a half-day in Takayama and experience the traditional architecture of this region.

Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00
Closed: No closing days


No.9 Dekonaru-za Theater


Unfortunately, Dekonaru-za Theater closed in November 2023.

One of the weak points of Takayama’s tourism is that there are not many things to do at night. It was until the Dekonaru-za opened.

This theater showcases traditional arts such as Japanese drums, flutes, Shamisen, and dance. All the performers are Takayama locals who worked hard to perfect their skills.

Their perform uses no dialogue, so it is understandable and enjoyable to all the nationalities.

As of December 2019, the price is 3,000 yen per person for 45 minutes show, which I think is a great value.

No.10 Dekonaru Yokocho Alley

In Takayama, you may notice that you don’t see many locals going out at night. That is because most of us go to this hidden alley called Dekonaru Yokocho.

This is a small entertainment alley where about 15-20 of small restaurants cram together. After their work, locals hit this alley and spend time with friends.

This is a great place to meet and interact with locals. Don’t worry, All Takayama locals are friendly and welcoming!

Opening Hours: Typically after midnight. Varies by restaurants.
Closed: No closing days.

Okay, so these are the 10 best places to visit in Takayama! I hope this helps you have a great time in my home town! Thanks for reading!

Looking for a Place to Stay in Takayama? Check Out My Japanestay Takayama Hotels!

Published on: December 4, 2019  -  Filed under: Takayama Travel Tips