Set on the edge of the Japanese Alps, the delightful town of Takayama was established in the 16th Century and flourished as a trading town, attracting many artisans to cater for the refined tastes of the wealthy merchants.
Today the centre of town retains the charm of years gone by, with atmospheric streets of dark wooden buildings that have changed little in centuries housing craft shops, traditional Inns, restaurants, galleries and sake breweries. There is also a vibrant morning market selling produce grown in the surrounding farmlands, and a number of impressive municipal buildings have been restored to their former glory and converted into museums.
A popular time to visit Takayama is during the spring and autumn festivals when huge floats hundreds of years old are paraded through the streets. These spectacular floats were originally built by the town’s wealthy merchants who competed to create bigger and more ornate floats as a display of their wealth.