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Takayama Japan

Meaning ‘tall mountain’, Takayama is nestled amidst the Japan Alps and offers hiking and skiing opportunities at several of its peaks. Every spring and autumn, the city attracts thousands of visitors during the Takayama Festival, a colourful parade of elaborate floats and mechanical puppets through the streets.

The Hida no Sato Folk Village in Takayama is an open-air museum that showcases the region’s culture with 30 traditional, thatched-roof houses from the Edo period. These were brought over from the neighbouring village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also admire the city’s woodworking heritage at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan, where some of the Takayama Festival’s artfully decorated floats or ‘yatai’ are displayed when not in use.

For a glimpse at Takayama’s history, wander along Sanmachi Suji in the old town to see the 17th-century timber houses, craft shops and sake breweries that line the streets. You’ll also find one of the city’s two morning markets here – the riverside Miyagawa Morning Market where you can shop for seasonal produce and local souvenirs. The other market is held in front of the Takayama Jinya – a National Historic Site that served as the local government building during the Edo period.


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