Japan's golden route - tour to the world heritage sites (Takayama)

Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Osaka

Takayama (高山) was the first stop in our Japan trip. We set off from Narita airport as soon as we arrived Japan.

Getting here and around

The journey to Takayama requires quite a bit of traveling and transfers by trains. Here's an outline of the journey: Narita - Shinagawa - Nagoya - Takayama. It took us 6 hours traveling from Narita airport to Takayama, 12pm to 6pm. There are direct bus departs from Shinjuku, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka daily. Click here for information. We transferred at Shinagawa instead of Tokyo station as it's so much easier compare to transferring at Tokyo station. Click here for instruction transferring at Shinagawa station.

There are 6 highway bus round trips everyday between Tokyo and Takayama by Keoi bus and Nohi bus. Click here for more information.

You can also fly to Nagoya (Singapore Airlines offers direct flight from Singapore to Nagoya) and you can skip 3 and 1/2 hrs train ride. Don't forget to purchase Japan Rail Pass. Without the Japan Rail Pass, you would have to pay ¥16800/pax for one way up to Takayama from Narita Airport. We paid only ¥37800/pax 7 days unlimited train ride in Japan. Read more about JR Pass in this post.

[Update 30th May 2015]

Now there is a new pass Takayama Hokuriku is available for tourists who travel to this region, Nagoya, Takayama, Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Osaka and Kyoto. Click here for information.

Takayama is a city located in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Takayama is also known as little Kyoto. It retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities especially in its beautifully preserved old town. It is now a popular destination among tourists.

Click to download Takayama and Shirakawago tourist map.

We stayed in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn), Hodakaso Yamano Iori. Ryokan provides an oppoturnity to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality with tatami floors, futon beds, onsen (Japanese style baths) and Japanese cuisine. The staffs in Hodakaso Yamano Iori are mostly elderly and speak very little English. It didn't matter to us, the staff was very kind and showed us the room. This ryokan is located just 200m or less from the Takayama train station.

We paid ¥10500/pax/night included dinner and breakfast. It's expensive but it's worth it. The ryokan experience was certainly unique and interesting than staying in a regular hotel. We asked for a futon bed.

We were so hungry after the long train ride. The dinner was awesome. There were Hida beef, fresh sashimi, mushroom, vege, miso soup and etc. 

Breakfast was served either Japanese or Western and we opted Japanese style. Obviously! We are in Japan, why choose western breakfast?

We arrived Takayama in the evening and departed the next day noon. Thus we didn't get to have much time to spend in Takayama. We visited Takayama morning market. If this is your first market in Japan, this will be an interesting authentic experience. It's small and not made for tourists but for the daily needs for the local compare to the Ameyoko market in Tokyo. Most stalls sell local craft and farm products such as vegetables, pickles and flowers. The market opens from 6am until noon.

Interested to visit these places too? Check out my itinerary and trip report KanazawaTakayamaShirakawagoKyoto 

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