Sunday, February 24, 2019

Takayama, Japan

Japan, my mother's homeland, brings to mind so many wonderful memories.
Today, I would like to share one of my favorite places to visit in Japan.

Takayama (means High Mountains) is a city in Japan's beautiful mountainous Gifu Prefecture (Hida Region). Tip: There are other places named Takayama, so check your map!

It is around five hours by shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo. Enjoy nice views and a chance to try wonderful train food like a bento box!

There is much to see and do. Here are my top recommendations:

Visit Shirakawago and Hida no Sato. Both have wonderfully preserved historic areas with traditionally built houses. Remarkably, they were built without using any nails.

There is a bus station right outside the Takayama train station. It takes about an hr. by bus to reach the town of Shirakawago (recognized as an Unesco site).  Ogimachi, an section located in Shirakawgo, has the highest concentration of the farmhouses.

A closer alternative is Hida no Sato. There are over 30 traditional houses and is an open air museum. It is located right in Takayama.

Another great thing about visiting Takayama is its historic Old Town. Quaint streets lined with buildings that date back to the 1600s, you can experience what Japan was like in the Edo period. Visit the shops and take a break with some delicious matcha tea snacks.

Lastly, another once-in-a-lifetime experience is to spend the night in a Buddhist temple.
Zenkoji temple offers overnight stays to guests from around the World. Sleeping on tatami mats in traditional Japanese style immerses you in the culture and history.

A stroll around Takayama offers a peaceful journey into Japan's past. It is a must-see on a trip to Japan.

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