Takayama is a city in Gifu, Japan. It is close to Shirakawa-go; a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its traditional Gassho-zukuri farmhouses.
Why should you travel to Takayama?
The region is most famous for its sought-after ‘Hida Beef,’ considered some of the best in Japan, and distinctive Takayama ramen. At the same time, outside the city, the World Heritage-listed villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, as well as the beautiful alpine valley of Kamikochi, are all easily accessible.
Takayama is a city on the Miya River in Gifu ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It has many historic buildings and temples, including the Kokubun-ji Temple, and it served as a castle town during the Tokugawa shogunate. Takayama is the administrative centre for the Hida Mountains region.
Tiny but charismatic, this place is well worth a visit. There are numerous other reasons to visit Takayama, and Takayama Jin’ya, for example, is a well-kept 17th-century government building in town that is popular with visitors.
Best foods to try in Takayama
Mitarashi-Dango is well-known for its Japanese confectionery. Skewered rice dumplings are caramelised and infused with sugar and soy sauce. In Takayama, however, they flavour it with only say sauce and call it MI-“DA”-RA-SHI-Dango.
Takayama ramen is a popular Japanese ramen style. A base broth of bones, vegetables, and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) is enriched with soy sauce and miso, and each ramen master has a secret broth recipe.
Events and fiestas in Takayama
Takayama’s festivals are well-known throughout Japan and are frequently mentioned as one of the most celebrated events in Japan, alongside Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Yomatsuri. Festivals, known as ‘matsuri’ in Japanese, take place all over the country throughout the year. Matsuri, which celebrates everything imaginable, is vital in Japan as events and times for the community to come together and have fun, with famous festivals like Takayama attracting thousands of spectators.
Takayama Festival is two festivals that take place annually in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture: the Sanno Festival, which is the festival of the Hie Shrine in the spring, and the Hachiman Festival, which is the festival of the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in the autumn.
Along with Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and Chichibu Yomatsuri, the Takayama Festival (Takayama Matsuri) is one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals. It is held twice a year, in the spring and autumn, in Takayama’s old town and draws a large crowd.
What is Takayama Festival?
Takayama Festival refers to the spring Sanno Matsuri as a whole, and the October Hachiman Matsuri is held at Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine. It is regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful festivals. A large parade of 1,000 people is staged, giving the impression that you have stepped back to the 15th century, especially with the costumes and music performances.
The Spring Takayama Festival, or Sanno Matsuri, is an annual Hie Shrine festival that celebrates the arrival of spring. The festival parade takes place on the south side of Yasugawa St, which runs alongside Takayama’s Old Town district.
The Tokeiraku parade, in which people wearing hats adorned with bird feathers sound bells and beat drums, and the lion dance, in which dancers wear head gear shaped like a lion’s head, are the most popular. These are followed by a parade of over ten beautiful floats known as yatai. These yatai floats have a variety of contrivances, such as marionettes that move so dexterously that the spectators are taken aback. As night falls, 100 paper lanterns adorn these floats, creating an even more stunning sight. This festival fully utilises the beautiful technologies of western and eastern Japan that existed during the Edo Period. It is Takayama’s pride, which once boasted outstanding artisans such as carpenters and sculptors.
Takayama, where the sublime mountains of the Northern Alps soar nearby, is known as “the little Kyoto of the Hida region”. You can enjoy strolling through the old rows of houses and streets. Even if it rains, you can see the floats from the float storehouse, which has wide-open doors.
Takayama Matsuri is celebrated in what way?
Takayama Matsuri is one of Japan’s three most renowned festivals, held in Takayama, a city in central Honshu’s Gifu Prefecture. Residents of the city dress in traditional attire and highlight local customs between April and October: Processions of floats, musical parades, and children’s songs.
How is the Sanno festival celebrated?
The festival is held in the Kamikochi area, south of Yasugawa Street, and revolves around the Hie Shrine at the southern end of the old town. Twelve festival floats are displayed on both days in prayer for a good harvest, with the mikoshi paraded on the first day and returning to the shrine on the second. The evening parade takes place on the first day.
How is the Hachiman festival celebrated?
The autumn festival, which takes place in the north of Yasugawa Street, is centred on the Hachiman Shrine at the northern end of the old town. Eleven festival floats are displayed on both days in an elaborate show of thanks for the year’s harvest, with mikoshi paraded on the first day and returning to the shrine on the second. On the first day, there is an evening parade.
Both festivals attract large crowds of both Japanese and foreign visitors. Accommodation, restaurants, and transportation sell out quickly, so plan ahead of time if you want to attend either festival.