New Discoveries in Old Takayama
Takayama in Gifu Prefecture is one of those places that you don’t get tired of no matter how many times you visit. The fresh air and beautiful scenery, the old quarter with its rows and rows of historic buildings, the lively morning markets where locals hawk their home-grown veggies and home-made pickles, the delicious food and sake… especially the sake… ahem, pardon me. So anyways, check out a few cool spots below that you might not know about yet. They are all conveniently located in the same area around Takayama’s old quarter.
Funasaka Sake Brewery is much more than, well, just a sake brewery. Located amongst the rows of Edo period buildings in Takayama’s famous old quarter, Funasaka augments the rustic, history-laden atmosphere of old Takayama with a dash of modern Japanese chic. Funasaka’s large complex houses a sake brewery, a shop, a cafe and a restaurant. The shop offers a wide variety of sake, local foodstuffs and Takayama knick knacks. Funasaka takes great pride in the sake it brews — for good reason — and they’re more than happy to let you try it out before buying at the sampling counter
Across the courtyard are the cafe and restaurant occupying a two-floor, semi open-air affair that oozes style. General seating is located on the first floor, while private rooms of various sizes and persuasions (Japanese and Western-style seating) are available on the second floor with prior reservations for large groups or those celebrating a special occassion.
From picking up some local sake in the shop to snacking on tasty sake-infused desserts in the cafe and expertly prepared Hida beef in the restaurant, a visit (or several) to Funasaka Sake Brewery will not disappoint.
Address: 105 Kamisanno-machi, Takayama, Gifu
Shop: 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Cafe: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Restaurant: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Private rooms available.
While the old, earthen-walled storehouse is not a new addition to the historic Takayama townscape, the museum within is. The Takayama Museum of History and Art is a two-floor, multi-halled showcase of Takayama’s heritage including historical artifacts, traditional local crafts, works of art and more. The museum’s buildings and facilities themselves are also quite attractive, easy to navigate and universally accessible, and the courtyards, gardens and corridors are a delight to walk through. The icing on the cake: admission is completely free, and the museum is open every day.
Address: 75 Kamiichino-machi, Takayama, Gifu
Exhibition Rooms: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Garden: 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Subject to change depending on seasonal conditions.)
Holidays: None (Temporarily closes occassionally. Call ahead to confirm.)
Visiting Takayama is a bit like stepping back in time in and of itself, and the Takayama Showa Hall gives you the chance to take another little trip through time to the Showa period, which spanned much of the 20th century from 1926 to 1989. Inside the Showa Hall you can stroll through a recreation of a Showa period neighborhood with restaurants, shops and all (note: they’re not actually open for business). This life-size diorama is chock full of authentic signs, movie posters, furnishings, products and the like to give you a taste of life as it was. If you’re feeling especially nostalgic on the way out, snag a glass-bottled soda from the old-fashioned vending machine and pick up some Showa period candy or toys in the gift shop!
Address: 6 Kamiichino-machi, Takayama, Gifu
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(Nov. 1 – Mar. 31: until 5 p.m.)
Admission: JPY 500 (Children under 15: JPY 300)
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