If you are planning on driving to Takayama, then the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway would be your quickest way but, if you want to see/experience some great Japanese Scenery (and have the time), then come via one of the many National Highway Roads that access the area. And, last-but-not-least, buses. Like the rail network, the bus-service to/from Takayama is second-to-none with regular services linking the area with Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Nagoya, as-well-as Kanazawa, Toyama and Matsumoto. This guide will give you a better indication as to how to get here - "Getting to Takayama".
You have worked-out how to get here, now your next step is to find somewhere to stay. Takayama has quite a selection of hotels to choose from, all providing high-quality service and located throughout the inner city and surrounding area. I shall let the folks at "Takayama Guide" impress you with what is available.
If you are on a budget, there is a huge range of hostels available, including a Youth Hostel. This is a good 'site to help with selecting a hostel - Hostels in Hida-Takayama. If a member of your touring-party is the family dog, then you can't go past the Takayama Wan-Wan Paradise Hotel. Set in amongst the forest and located on the mountains that border Gifu and Nagano Prefectures, this is the perfect hotel (you don't have to have a dog to stay here). The restaurant, serving traditional Japanese fare, are top quality. The Onsen I would class as the best I have experienced in my time living in Japan.
|Takayama WanWan Paradise Hotel.|
Now doesn't the above image look delicious? Traditional Japanese Cuisine is very healthy and tasty (that's coming from someone who has been eating it for the past 8-years) and Hida-Takayama has many restaurants for you to experience. I won't post any names but leave it up to you to discover where to eat. But let me say this, in Japan food quality is second-to-none in the world. There are also a few Western Restaurants & cafes for that something that reminds you of back home.
Now the all-important paragraph - what to do in Takayama. This 'site will give you access to the Takayama Practicle Guide Map (English) and, as you can see, there is not a shortage of sights to see/experience.
Something I have never come-across, until I visited Takayama, is this system of "Tourist Guides". These people, identifiable by these yellow & black armbands, stroll throughout the "Old Streets" and are more-than-happy to help you with any inquiries you may have. Although this service is free, it would be courteous of you to pay their costs (on a recent visit to Takayama, a guide gave us a very-personal tour of Takayama-jinya). The streets are also very well signposted and maps are available everywhere you go, and in many different languages. My tip is don't try to cram too much into your day. Take it casually and experience what you are visiting without rushing it.
If you are a fellow "outdoorholic", like myself, and you have packed your hiking, mountain-biking or skiing gear for your vacation, all I can say is - "Welcome to Paradise". Hida-Takayama is nestled-amongst the Hida Mountains, which themselves are encompassed by the Japanese Alps. Whatever your fancy - a stroll amongst nature, off-the-beaten-track, hair-raising - there is sure to be something here to satisfy your addiction. If you want to do you own thing, then surf-through Diddlefinger Maps-Japan. Using "Google Maps", this 'site uses English for place-names, in place of Kanji (in most cases). But, if you want something more organized/planned, let me recommend two -
The Goshikigahara Hermit Road, situated in the foothills of magnificent Mt Norikura (Map Location), provides the hiker with three options to explore the "luxurious nature which has not been explored for a long time". For a small fee, you will be provided with a guide and will include bus-fare in the park as-well-as guide book. The tour is limited to two persons with a maximum of ten.
Check-out more of the area at Satoyama Experience.
Now if this image on the right turns you on, and you are keen to check-out the local slopes, Takayama is the place. This website - Skiing and Snowboarding. - should be of use.
I have covered many activities for you to see/experience in Hida-Takayama. Unfortunately I have had to omit mentioning many (maybe that will give you an idea of what is available) but, if you surf-through some of the websites attached, I am sure you will find something that will satisfy your tastes.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge those who have allowed me to use their websites and images in this blog.