Takayama Tourist Attractions
The small town of Takayama in central Honshu, to the west of the Hida range which forms part of the Chubu-Sangaku National Park, has preserved much of its old-world charm. Many old houses still demonstrate the skill of the local carpenters, who were renowned in the medieval period for their mastery of their craft. Takayama is also noted for its traditional pottery (Shibukusa-yaki) and lacquerware (Shunkei-nuri).
Kusakabe Heritage House
A skillful carpenter, Juisuke Kawajiri built the present building of Kusakabe Heritage House in 1879, and it is a typical merchant house from Edo era. The house is home to Kusakabe Folk Museum which displays furniture and other effects from the 18th and 19th C.
Address: 1-52 Ojin-machi, Takayama, Chubu 506, Japan
Historical Government House
Once the seat of local government when Takayama was under the administration of the Kanamori clan, this is the only building of its kind in Japan. It was originally built in 1615 as the second house of Nagachika Kanamori, and was managed by the feudal authorities. The front wall of the main entrance hall is accompanied with decorated paper of a blue sea-wave pattern, which was designed by the Tokugawa shogunate as a symbol of its direct control.
Kokubunji Temple is the oldest in the town. Its Main Hall (1615) contains a seated figure of the Healing Buddha (Yakushi-nyorai) and a statue of Kannon; in the forecourt is a three-story pagoda (1807).Emperor Shomu originally built the temple in 746 as one of several temples dedicated to peace in the nation but the original temple was burnt down. The gingko tree located near the three-story pagoda is said to be 1,200 years old.
Hida Folk Village
Hida Folk Village is the site of sloped and thatched-roof houses, with 30 buildings (including National Cultural Treasures), recreating Hida's historical look. In each building, everyday articles (which are regarded as folk art) recall the life and culture of mountain farming villages. Demonstrations of traditional crafts such as Hida ceramics, weaving and dyeing are held in arts and crafts centers.
Yoshijima Heritage House
In olden times, a huge sakabayashi was hung under the eaves. The beauty of the wood is shown in the wooden pillars and panel doors, as well as in the staircase centered on the main pillar of the house. In contrast to the masculine style of the Kusakabe house, it can be said that this Yoshijima house is a structure possessing subtlety and feminine beauty.
Shorenji is said to be Japan's oldest temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect. The main hall, which was constructed in the Nagamasa region (dating from 1504), is said to have been built from a single giant cedar tree. The gentle curve of the roof is representative of the beauty of Muromachi architecture.
Festival Floats Exhibition Hall
The Float Hall houses 11 floats for the fall Takayama festival. They rotate the floats 3 times a year (March, July, and November) putting 4 on display each time. In a revival of the festival parade, a shrine maiden takes visitors on a tour.