Takayama Arts & Crafts Local Culture Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide

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  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Pickup Service
  • Private Tour
  • E-Ticket
  • 6 hr

In this tour, your knowledgeable licensed local guide will accompany you on your journey through these local art and craft spots while offering fascinating insights into the origins, history and production techniques of the skilled Hida craftsmanship you will encounter. Takayama is the best place to experience the fruits of this rich heritage. A myriad of local workshops and retail outlets remain and these establishments sell both folk crafts, such as Sashiko patchwork and Hanga wood block prints, and also traditional crafts borne from ‘high’ culture, including intricate wooden carving and Shunkeinuri lacquerware. Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary. Note*2: The National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Japan Guide Agency

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Takayama Jinya

The Takayama Jin'ya is a surviving Edo period jin'ya which served as the government headquarters for Hida Province under the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan from 1692 to 1871.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Jinya-Mae Morning Market

An essential Takayama tradition is called Asa-ichi. Behind this name hides the small morning market where fresh produce and local crafts are found.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market

The Miyagawa Morning Market has existed in one form or another for more than two centuries, and it's still a hub for fresh produce. The market is located on either bank of the Miya River between two bridges—Kajibashi and Yayoibashi. Every morning, weather permitting, you can buy everything from local fruit and vegetables to dolls and stylish chopsticks. As with all markets, the earlier you get there, the better. The juiciest, freshest products will get picked off first, and the market is a perfect place for people-watching.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Sanmachi Suji

The heart of Takayama is Sanmachi, the old town of preserved and restored buildings. During the Edo period (1603-1867), Takayama was a lively hub town bustling with craftsmen, merchants, and farmers from the surrounding area. Today that legacy is preserved in the three main streets and encircling districts of Sanmachi.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall

The Takayama Festival, held in spring (April 14 and 15) and autumn (October 9 and 10), is ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful festivals (the other two are Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Matsuri). Four of the autumn festival's eleven floats (yatai) are exhibited at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan (高山祭屋台会館), a hall next to Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine. The elaborately decorated floats are several hundred years old and beautiful examples of Takayama's legendary craftsmanship.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Kusakabe Folk Museum

Visit this deeply traditional and unforgettable merchants’ house. The Kusakabe were a family of merchants that worked for the shogunate in Takayama and prospered during the Edo period. In 1879, after the original building had been lost in a fire, a skilled artisan by the name of Jisuke Kawajiri rebuilt the house in its traditional Edo period style using the unparalleled craftsmanship of the Hida region, which is the building as you see it now. It was designated a national Important Cultural Property in 1966, and is currently open to the public as a folk arts museum.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At:

Hida Sashiko has been producing sashiko thread since 1975. Sashiko threads from Hida Sashiko have only been available for sale outside of Japan since 2010. Kiwi Threadz is honored to be awarded the sole distributorship of Hido Sashiko threads for New Zealand. The product is a wonderful addition to our range, we hope that you will try it and enjoy using it as much as we do. The threads come in two different lengths 50 meters and 145 meters, both variegated and mono colors.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At:

This accessories shop centered on rabbit goods is located in the middle of the Hida Takayama townscape. While purchasing various products themed on rabbits, regardless of the material or purpose, the red bunny doll called Ubobo that was invented by the shop owner is a Takayama specialty that can only be bought here. Creating them with hopes for easy childbirth and to invite happiness, the shop offers netsuke (miniature carved Japanese ornament), oil blotting paper and other items besides Ubobo dolls. Their original products, such as a towel handkerchief called Usami and a collagen face wash towel, are extremely popular as souvenirs. In addition, they also hold regular storehouse exhibitions.

Duration: 15 minutes
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