Best Places to Stay in Takayama
One of the most popular destinations in Central Japan, Takayama offers visitors a wide-range of accommodation including high-end guesthouses, large hotels and budget options. On this page you will find the following information:
Over recent years, Takayama has become firmly established as a popular destination for international travellers wanting to enjoy a traditional Edo Period town. The beautifully preserved buildings of the old town house restaurants, craft stores, museums, galleries, breweries, guesthouses and homes creating a thriving atmosphere and a fantastic food scene. Most famously, the region is known for its sought-after ‘Hida Beef’ – considered some of the best in Japan – along with distinctive Takayama ramen; while outside the city, the World Heritage-listed villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama and the beautiful alpine valley of Kamikochi are all within easy reach.
25 Things to Do Around Takayama & Where to Stay
Located deep within the mountains of Central Japan, Takayama is famous for …
This page is intended to be read in conjunction with our ’25 Things to Do Around Takayama’ page. We hope that both pages inspire you to visit Kanazawa and are of assistance in finding the right accommodation for you.
RECOMMENDED PLACES TO STAY IN & AROUND TAKAYAMA
Accommodation within Takayama is concentrated around Takayama Station – where you will find large hotels and business hotels – and in the old town – where you will find traditional guesthouses and smaller lodges. In this section we provide information about accommodation in the following areas:
Takayama is a small but popular destination meaning that accommodation, especially the best hotels and guesthouses, can book-out well in advance as demand currently outstrips supply. As such, staying outside of Takayama can be a great option, especially when you consider that hot spring areas including Okuhida Onsen and Hirayu Onsen are within easy reach. But let’s start in:
TAKAYAMA CITY AREA
Accommodation in Takayama is concentrated around Takayama Station and the ‘Sannomachi’ (old town). The Sannomachi is located on the eastern-side of Miyagawa River, approximately 15-minutes walk from Takayama Station. Within the old town, visitors have the option of some excellent ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouses) and smaller hotels. Prices can be high and the most popular guesthouses tend to book-out well in advance so it pays to plan ahead if that’s what you’re after. But don’t feel it’s your only option! The greatest concentration of accommodation in Takayama is found on between the station and Miyagawa River. There are multiple large hotels in the area with Western-style rooms and amenities along with good mid-range and budget options. It is worth noting that the largest hotels are often used by tour groups so if that is something you want to avoid, go for a smaller hotel or guesthouse. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Takayama City Area’ hotel page.
OKUHIDA ONSEN AREA
Sitting to the east of Takayama, Okuhida Onsen is a popular hot spring region in the beautiful forests and mountains of Japan’s North Alps. The five towns making-up Okuhida boast numerous guesthouses, hotels, and public hot springs. Prices vary greatly from budget to very expensive, with something to suit all tastes. Staying in Okuhida is all about enjoying a traditional ‘ryokan’ (guesthouse) and indulgence of Japanese service. Most people doing so choose to include both dinner and breakfast in their accommodation package as outside dining options are very limited at night. It is also important to note that Okuhida is located some distance from Takayama – around 60-minutes drive depending on the exact location of your guesthouse – and well into the mountains toward Kamikochi – making it a great option for visitors wanting to combine Takayama and Kamikochi over a two-day visit. Bus services run from Takayama Station on Hirayu Onsen or alternatively, driving yourself is a great option especially if you choose to stay in an area away from the central town of Hirayu Onsen. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Okuhida Onsen Area’ hotel page.
HIRAYU ONSEN AREA
As one of the five hot spring towns making-up Okuhida Onsen, Hirayu Onsen is the most convenient for travellers using public transport. The area is serviced by the Hirayu Onsen Bus Terminal, where all Nohi bus services stop enroute between Takayama – taking around 60-minutes to reach Hirayu Onsen – and Kamikochi – taking another 20-minutes on from Hirayu Onsen. As such, Hirayu Onsen is fantastic option for travellers wanting to enjoy hot springs high-up in Japan’s North Alps rather than spend the night in Takayama. There is an excellent range of accommodation options in the area catering to all budgets including some very reasonably priced hotels – an attractive alternative to the steep prices for accommodation in Kamikochi. Hirayu Onsen also has a number of decent restaurants providing the option for dining-out at night – but make sure to check the opening days and times of your chosen restaurant in advance, noting that local restaurants tend to close quite early. Of course, most hotels also offer dinner and breakfast should you want them. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Hirayu Onsen Area’ hotel page.
SHIRAKAWA-GO & GOKAYAMA AREA
Located 60-minutes from Takayama, Ogimachi is the largest of the three villages that make-up the World Heritage-listed ‘Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama’. Referred to collectively as Shirakawa-go, the villages of Ogimachi, Suganuma and Ainokura are home to a distinct and beautiful style of thatch-roofed farmhouses and attracts thousands of visitors on a daily basis. Many if not most people who make the journey to Shirakawa-go will do so in combination with a visit to Takayama, and given the frequency of bus services between the two destinations, staying in one of the villages is an option for those not wanting to spend the night in Takayama. Accommodation in the villages is limited and as such, tends to be expensive and book-out well in advance. Make sure to plan ahead and check that the location of your chosen guesthouse works for your travel itinerary. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Shirakawa-go & Gokayama Area’ hotel page.
TOYAMA STATION AREA
Toyama is located 90 minutes by train to the north of Takayama, from where, the famous old town can be visited as an easy daytrip. Centred around Toyama Station and to the south around Toyama Castle Park, the city has lots of good accommodation options including large to mid-sized Western hotels. Visitors can choose from many mid-range to budget options and enjoy prices that are often notably cheaper than other cities in Japan. With this in mind, staying in Toyama can be an attractive option when visiting Kanazawa – which is only 20-minutes away by train – which can be enjoyed as a day-trip or over multiple days from Toyama. Visitors looking for more traditional guesthouses should consider staying outside of the city, in a location such as Unazuki Onsen – see below for details. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Toyama: Toyama Station Area’ hotel page.
KANAZAWA STATION AREA
Kanazawa is located around 2 hours to the northwest, another city from where you can visit Takayama as a daytrip. The largest concentration of accommodation in Kanazawa can be found in and round the station. The area boasts many large, Western-style hotels that can be directly accessed from the station or within a short walk, making it an ideal location for travellers wanting Western rooms and amenities and wanting to avoid having to carry your luggage to a more distant location. From the station, local buses run to and from many of the city’s most popular attractions, most of which can also be reached on-foot within 30 to 40-minutes. For more information including accommodation listings, see our ‘Kanazawa: Kanazawa Station Area’ hotel page.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND TAKAYAMA
When people talk about the beauty of Takayama and encourage you to visit, they are speaking of the city’s beautiful historic centre – one of Japan’s best remaining examples of an Edo Period (1603-1868) town. Known as the ‘Sannomachi’, the historic centre of the city is lined with beautiful buildings housing restaurants, craft and food stores, breweries, museums, accommodation and many residential homes. The city is equally well-known for its thriving food scene including its famous Hida beef and Takayama ramen, while outside of the city, visitors can access some of Japan’s most rewarding destinations including the World Heritage-listed villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama along with the beautiful alpine valley of Kamikochi. For tips and suggestions of what to do while there, including accommodation listings, see our ’25 Things To Do Around Takayama & Where To Stay’ page.
HOW TO GET TO TAKAYAMA
Lying deep in Central Japan, Takayama takes time to reach but given the efficiency of the Japanese transport network, that journey is usually simple. The Limited Express Hida service runs from Central Japan’s largest city of Nagoya, to Takayama and onto Toyama in the north. Bus services also connect Takayama to Toyama and Kanazawa to the north and the popular alpine valley of Kamokochi and onto Matsumoto to the west. For information on how to reach the city, see our ‘How To Get To Takayama’ page.
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