When I decided to spend a huge chunk of my summer holidays in Tokyo, I knew from the beginning that I would love to travel around Japan after my Clerkship! So while being at home and planning my trip to Japan, I figured out which places I’d like to visit and got myself a Japan Rail Pass. The JR Pass is a super convenient train pass which allows tourists to travel around in Japan for a very small amount of money compared to alternatives! And also, it includes rides with the Shinkansen, Japans super fast bullet train.
Kyoto and Hiroshima where on top of my list, but I really wanted to visit a slightly less touristy, traditional place where I could rest a couple of days after the hussle and bustle of living in Tokyo for a month. I searched the internet and asked my dear friend, who was born and raised in Japan, if she has a recommendation and she mentioned Takayama as one of her favourite places in Japan. I took her advise gratefully and took the train to Takayama.
I arrived in the early afternoon and completely fell in love with the city. I stayed at a very nice hostel, very close to all the attractions Takayama has to offer. After a short check inn, I walked through the beautiful streets and had to stop myself of taking photos of every corner!
Takayama is famous for it’s Hida beef from a very hairy black breed, so there are plenty of hida beef restaurants and street food options you could choose from. I went for a Hida beef stuffed steamed bun, which was delicious. The next day, I also tried the Hida beef sushi, which was quite pricy but definitely worth it!
Takayamas biggest attraction is the very traditional, beautiful old town from the Edo period. The little shops sell plenty of souveniers, hand made jewelry, candy, baked goods and streetfood; it was easy for me to get lost in this amazing area for hours!
In the night of my first day in Takayama, there was a lovely little summer festival going on in the centre of the city with dance acts, live music and streetfood, which made my first night perfect.
The next morning, I decided to visit the morning markets where people sell local food, vegetables and fruits. There was a super nice atmosphere and a great start way of starting the day.
Next, I visited the Takayama Jinya, a goverment building in the Edo period and a public museum today, which was very interesting and quite a peaceful and calming experience!
In the afternoon, I took a two kilometres walk to the Hida Folk Village, another very old area of the Edo period where we could see the farmhouses and homes of people in the past living in Takayama.
I spend two happy days in Takayama before I went to Kyoto and I have to say, Takayama is probably my favourite place which I visited in Japan. Everything in this town was so peaceful and calm, but still interesting to explore. It’s also a very tourist friendly town, providing free wifi while exploring the city and everything is written in english, which was very helpful. The food was amazing there and the people were so friendly and kind and I definitely will come back to this beautiful hidden town when I’m back in Japan one day!