The Under-the-radar City in Japan has everything
The Under-the-radar City in Japan has everything, from relaxing hot springs to one of the most famous sake breweries, to an old townhouse that you and your friends can use for sleeping on a night out.
If you’re looking to refresh your mind, unwind, and explore an unfamiliar locale with a historic feel, we recommend Takayama in Gifu Prefecture.
Tokyo is a living, breathing city that has much more to offer than just urban landscapes and culture. Thousands of sights fill Tokyo’s streets with adventure, illumination, & motion. It’s unlike any place you’ve ever been!!
But a visit to Japan shouldn’t just be limited to Tokyo. An altogether different and equally beautiful part of the country gradually comes into focus when travelers journey off the beaten path and explore its scenic rural scenery.
Instead of urban, crowded cityscapes, imagine lush mountains, beautiful forests filled with gemstones, warming hot springs surrounded by cozy bonsai trees, and colorful festivals that are only possible at this time of the year. Imagine with me some magical places where you can enjoy traditional architecture.
Takayama is a small city located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture in the heart of Japan’s main Honshu. With a population of just 90,000 people, Takayama offers many rich cultural & natural sights.
Sanmachi Suji is a beautiful historical district filled with traditional Japanese wooden homes that are havens for those who would love to learn more about the area’s rich history.
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One way to provide more depth to your experience is by spending a night at Iori Takayama, a renovated townhouse dating back more than a century.
Here we have a warm, stylish, and elegant atmosphere – everything you’ll need to treat yourself to a relaxing experience. Tatami mats bring the feel of Japanese culture. Another highlight is the decor with paper screens and scroll alcoves. What a wonderful setting for the perfect soak! That’s why you’ll want to stay here, in one of our relaxing vacation rentals or hotel rooms at The Garden House.
The entire space has a balanced feel with traditional details and touches such as tile, cabinets, shades of blue, leather couches & chairs, and more. The kitchen features amongst its modern aspects a Nespresso machine, Bose speakers, and more.
There’s no need to worry about having your private event disrupted by different guests when you stay here. The property is only available for exclusive use, with parties of up to 8 people. Japanese kaiseki chef Akihiro Ishii takes special care in preparing private dinners for his guests that are inspired by the seasons, the stars, and the ocean.
What’s more, the house is a perfect place to explore Takayama’s history and heritage. A walk through the old street area is a great experience in itself, as houses built during feudal times are filled with skills and features showing how important Takayama was top traditional craftsmen.
Another star of Takayama’s cultural landscape is its sake or nihonshu. The region’s famously pure sake flavors are widely attributed to the quality of the Hidahomare rice grown across Gifu Prefecture, combined with fresh spring water.
Hirase Sake Brewery has been around for hundreds of years and is particularly famous for its quality sake and other alcoholic offerings. The brewery has also been awarded a spot on the Japanese Historic Places UNESCO World Heritage List.
But perhaps the highlight is Takayama Festival. It’s ranked as one of Japan’s top festivals with people filling the streets during two-day blocks it’s held twice a year (April and September).
You’ll see around a dozen yatai floats — those intricately crafted red and gold ones with traditional dancers in front of them — being paraded through the streets. Each one is surrounded by different performers depending on the region. They come in all colors, with lively dance moves. This is definitely an interesting experience.