Traditional streetscape to feel Japan
A standard of Hida-takayama sightseeing is strolling “Sanmachi street”. Its name is commonly called one and precisely indicate the area of three different streets. There are varieties of individual shops on street such as specialized to sake, miso or general stores and what you should do is an eating binge of specialty local foods like Mitarashi-dango and Hida beef sushi. Latter is especially popular as always around 10 people are cueing. Here, you should concentrate on eat, eat and eat! Lots of shops close by late afternoon so better to visit early.
Another traditional streetscape is Hida-furukawa. Compare to Sanmachi street, which is vibrant by a lot of tourists, its view features deep quaint with sequential white walls (specifically called Shirakabe-dozo) and sake brewing tour is can’t-miss point here for sake lovers. Thousands of carps are thrown to Seto river, which is running through the town from April to November, though they were moved to other pond for passing the winter at the moment. Well-known nationwide traditional events such as Kitsune Fire Festival in fall and Santera-Mairi in winter are also held in this area.
Gassho house is famed for view of Shirakawa-go (Sho river area of Gifu) As you can see, sharp angle of roof top is alike to praying hands (=Gassho in Japanese words) shape is root why it’s named. ‘Gero Onsen Gassho-mura’ places 10 Gassho houses, which are moved from Shirakawa-go. Thatch of roof need to be re-covered in every 20 to 30 years and the cost is over ￥20,000,000. Both manpower and money are required in order to protect precious tradition.
One for every house. Experience Ema and Sarubobo.
Ema (picture-horse) is displayed at almost every residents of Hida. It’s dedicated to shrine instead of a real horse from ancient time and nowadays it works as luck in order to pray family safety or prosperous business in paper format. It’s told that displaying Ema as horse head toward inside of your house will bring luck. You can experience coloring of Ema at Hida Ema Factory, which is run by Ema-master, Suisei Yamaguchi. You don’t need to have a latent for painting. Once you have his lecture, you’ll be able to draw colorful, fineness and dynamic Ema.
Opening hour：9:30〜17:00（irregular holidays）
“Bobo” means a baby in the dialect of Hida. Thus Sarubobo indicates “Monkey baby” (Saru is the Japanese word for monkey). Sarubobo is loved figure by local as mascot with meaning like ‘protection from bad things’ and ‘A happy home’. In fact, you can see Sarubobo or imitated characters all over the town. ‘Crafts Experience Center’ offers you experience to make Sarubobo. You can choose from 5 different colors on top of basic red. Each color has meaning as following, Red: family, Yellow: economic fortune, Pink: love, Green: health and Blue: academy. It’s fun to select colors depend on who you’ll gift to.
Opening hour：10:00〜16:00（Experience due entrance by 16:00. Close Wednesday）
Coverall sightseeing places from the basic to secret.
Something that you definitely don’t want to fail when travelling is where to stay. Yunoshimakan is fine Ryokan (Japanese inn), which is established in 1931 and selected as registered tangible cultural property in 2010. Yunoshimakan features wooden architecture, designed by architect Eiji Tanba, outstanding view from Rotenburo (open-air spa) and retro chic pub ‘moonlight’. They are all very attractive as you may think that there’s no better place to stay than here.
Though its street looks like the real one at night time, it’s actually inside of the Takayama Showa Museum. The museum re-create retro streetscape in Showa 30’s time (=1955〜1965) with valuable items that are personally accumulated by its owner. Each space has theme. Kamen Rider is played on retro TV, vinyl of Seiko Matsuda or Agnes Chan are displayed at record shop and you can even play the family computer game. Girl Houyhnhnm girls must experience this chaotic place!
Entrance fee：￥800（adult）, ￥500（Junior & high school student）, ￥300（4 years old 〜 elementary school）
Kitani Co., Ltd. produces original furniture and licensed master pieces of Scandinavian furniture based on craftsmanship of Hida. It run a booth at Stockholm Furniture Fair in past and has a lot of knowledge about Scandinavian furniture. ‘Takayama FINN JUHL House’ is built by Kitani Co., Ltd. to celebrate centennial of Finn Juhl’s birth. There are full of beautiful furniture inside property that re-created as-is Juhl’s house. You’d never imagine that you can step into house of Scandinavian design maestro by visiting Hida! It’s one of a kind experience in whole world.
Opening hour：10:00〜12:00, 13:00〜15:00
‘COSTORICO’ is the certifiable local spot, known by local people only because it’s located a bit far from the central. You’ll find huge skate lump as you walk through café area inside shop. It becomes play area of local kids and also pro-rider. If you want to get the latest info about Hida-takayama, coming this place may be the best. If you are skater, don’t forget to take deck with you when visiting Hida!