See the beautiful timbered streetscapes of Hida’s “Little Kyoto.”
Inhabited since Japan’s ancient Jomon period, Hida-Takayama was a bustling castle town at the base of Takayama Castle during the Sengoku (“warring states”) era. Its beautiful streets still remain, and the area is also known as the "Little Kyoto" of Hida. The main district is called Sanmachi. Catch a glimpse of scenes from an older era—rickshaws come and go under the eaves of the timber houses of merchants. Simply stroll around and enjoy the quaint charm of this entire area. The morning market, held every day along the Miyagawa River, is also famous, lined with local vegetables and crafts. It can get quite crowded and lively on weekends.
Spectacular wooden buildings convey the prosperity of this castle town.
In the Sanmachi district, designated conservation area of traditional buildings, there are plenty of spots where you can learn about history and culture. Takayama Jinya is the only historic magistrate's office still extant in Japan. At the time, the premises covered around ten thousand square meters—proof of the area’s prosperity. Takayama Jinya served as a bureaucratic center during the Edo period, and it now contains historical materials and descriptions of each room, so you can really get a sense of the era. On the other hand, to get a feel for how local people lived, you should visit the Kusakabe Mingei-kan or the Yoshijima Heritage House. The beams of these houses were constructed without using even a single nail, demonstrating the craftsmanship of Japanese carpenters.
The Sanmachi area is home to many long-established breweries.
Hida-Takayama sees a lot of snowfall in winter and the water is very clean, which is why many sake breweries have been located here since ancient times. Continuing its business in the Kamisanno-machi district of Sanmachi for 200 years, the venerable Funasaka Shuzo Brewery created a bar, a restaurant, and a sake shop on the brewery premises to spread knowledge about the great taste of sake. Since the brewery’s offerings can be enjoyed right on the spot, it’s often crowded with tourists drinking sake from traditional wooden box cups. All of Hida-Takayama’s sake breweries are stocked with local varieties you can’t buy anywhere else, so why not enjoy a drink or three to compare them and find a new favorite?
Funasaka Shuzo Brewery
- 105 Kamisanno-machi, Takayama-shi, Gifu-ken
- Opening hours
- 8:30 A.M. – 8 P.M
Cafe 9:30 A.M. – 7 P.M.
Restaurant 11:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M., 5 P.M. – 8 P.M.
- No regular days of closure
- Toyama Kitokito Airport is a 1-hour flight from Haneda Airport.
- Toyama Kitokito Airport is a 90-minute flight from Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport.
- JR Toyama Station is 25 minutes by shuttle bus from Toyama Kitokito Airport.
- JR Takayama Station is 105 minutes from JR Toyama Station.
- Funasaka Shuzo is a 15-minute walk from JR Takayama Station.