Takayama and Shirakawago lie in the secluded mountains of Japan, offering unparalleled combination of scenic beauty and locally-preserved culture. Nestled deep in the heart of Japan the ancient town of Takayama is an intimate, leisurely town with a quiet, rustic charm. At the end of the 16th century, Takayama Castle was established and this was the origin of the present day town. Takayama contains old streets and buildings that are remarkably untouched by the passage of time. The district called San-machi Suji, of Takayama merchants and sake brewers, has been preserved in almost exactly the same state as it was 200 or 300 years ago.
The remoteness and inaccessibility of Shiriakawa-go, has kept the village unspoiled and well-preserved for centuries. This area of steep thatched-roved farmhouses gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1995. The people of these gassho-style, or “praying hands” style farmhouses were cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time and survived the harsh winters through the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. With its old Japan atmosphere, Shirakawa-go is beautiful anytime of year but particularly so in autumn and winter. Enjoy a full day private tour visiting both these ancient must see attractions.
Takayama and Shirakawa - 2 Day Itinerary:
Day 1 - Tokyo - Nagoya - Takayama:
From Tokyo travel to Nagoya by Bullet Train, than transfer to Takayama by express train. Arrive in Takayama and enjoy a free evening exploring Takayama at your leisure. We will recommend sites to visit depending on your interests. Stay a night at a selected Hotel or Ryokan. Dinner reservations at an authentic Japanese restaurant will be made upon request.
Day 2 - Morning Tour of Takayama:
Your local guide will walk you thru the historic 16th century castle town. Encounter the true Japanese spirit visiting historic sites such the old private houses, the Miyagawa morning market, the Higashiyama Temples, the Hida Folk museum and a former samurai house boasting interesting secret passageways and an old well in the courtyard. Enjoy Japanese tea and rice crackers at the folk craft museum, and taste traditional sake from the local sake brewery. After lunch travel to the remote village of Shirakawa-go.
Day 2 - Afternoon Tour of Shirakawa-go:
Shirakawa-go is famous for it's thatch-roofed Gassho-style homes which have been pretected from the outside world for centuries, preserving a unique traditional way of life. This historic village is registered as world cultural heritage of UNESCO. Enjoy the scenery from the Ogimachi Joseki Observatory, offering a magnificent view of the entire village. Stroll thru the historic village, where people still live to this very day and step inside the Wada house for a glimpse into the past. Some of the homes are over 400 years old making the site a national treasure which holds a special place in the heart of Japan. After a full day of culture return to Takayama by bus, where you take the express train back to Tokyo.
Prices include the following:
• Return Bullet Train/Express train transportation from Tokyo, return bus transfer to Shirakawa-go
• One night accommodation in Takayama, Private English Speaking Tour Guide and all entrance fees.