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Takayama

Takayama (officially known as Hida Takayama; 飛騨高山) has one of Japan's most atmospheric townscapes, with Meiji-era inns, hillside shrines and a pretty riverside setting. It's also home to one of the country's best-loved festivals. A trip here should be high on the list for anyone travelling in Central Honshū.

The town's present layout dates from the late 17th century and incorporates a wealth of museums, galleries and temples for a place of its compact size. Excellent infrastructure and welcoming locals seal the deal. Although its recent rise in popularity can sometimes take the sparkle off what was a little-known hamlet just a decade ago, there's still plenty worth visiting for – a stay during the shoulder seasons will afford a little more tranquillity.

Takayama is easily explored on foot and is the perfect start or end point for sojourns into the Hida region and the northern Japan Alps.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Takayama.

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