Take the scenic train from Nagoya for the climb into the Japanese Alps. This is one of Japan's most scenic routes and Takayama is one of the most attractive towns of the Japan Alps. In the heart of the Hida Mountains, this tranquil town has retained its old fashion charm. Takayama has been known for its carpentary and some of the architecture in the old town that exists is remnant of the highly skilled craftsmen of the Edo period. Compact and easy to explore on foot, visit the quaint shops and tearooms and wander the ancient streets of Takayama.
The Morning Markets in Takayama date back to more than 300 years ago when silk farmers were selling mulberry leaves. Today, the markets are still run by farmers and they sell a wide variety of goods. There are two market areas which are both well worth visiting. The Miyagawa markets along the river sell vegetables, fruits, pickles and spices while the markets on the other side sell local sweets and craft goods.
The farmers are very friendly people who would be more than happy to talk to you about their vegetables and pickles and how to best prepare them. As the markets start early in the morning and run until noon, it is best to wake up early and watch the market stalls being set up as you will see people wearing traditional clothes.
Sanmachi is the old town that is a reminder of the Edo period from its old architecture. Amazingly, the buildings are still in use today by shop owners and sake breweries. As you walk along the narrow street, you are able to take in the old castle town atmosphere and imagine what Edo period life would have been like. This buildings in this area are listed by the Japanese government important traditional buildings and this earned Takayama a 3-star rating from Michelin.