1-Day Tour from Takayama: Explore Scenic Old Japan in Takayama and Shirakawa-go

1-Day Tour from Takayama: Explore Scenic Old Japan in Takayama and Shirakawa-go


All Year Round


09:00 - 18:30

Meeting Place

Takayama Station


Adult (13+)20,800 / 22,800 JPY
Child (6-12)12,000 / 14,000JPY

1-Day Tour from Takayama: Explore Scenic Old Japan in Takayama and Shirakawa-go

Hidden high in the mountains of central Japan, far from the hustle and bustle of metropolises like Tokyo and Osaka, lie the quaint and well-preserved townscapes of Takayama and Shirakawa-go. Once a direct land holding of the Shogun, Takayama will mesmerize you with its beautiful woodwork and traditional streets that offer a more relaxed beauty than cities such as Kyoto and Kanazawa.  Shirakawa-go, on the other hand, offers a great example of the village-life experienced by Japanese farmers of ages past, and still experienced today by those lucky few who call it their home. Led by a locally-based and English-speaking guide, this experience will enthrall you with visions of life in Japan during an era very different from our own.


  • Tour the inside of the Takayama Jinya, a beautiful centuries old government outpost built for the Shogun’s representatives, and learn about the history and industry of Takayama
  • Stroll through the historic old town of Takayama, and walk down streets lined with wooden buildings from decades and centuries past
  • Learn about traditional Japanese village life in the UNESCO World Heritage recognized town of Shirakawa-go, and maybe even enter into some of its famous thatched roof homes to see for yourself the superb craftsmanship on display


This tour will start at Takayama Station, in front of the ticket gates, at 9:00 A.M. Your guide will greet you there and escort everyone directly to the beautiful, 300+ year old Takayama Jinya.

The tour will begin there, with a 1-hour guided experience inside the Jinya where your guide will explain about the history of the building and the city of Takayama itself. The Jinya includes both rooms for official business as well as rooms that were used by high-ranking officials for their own relaxation. You will also have a chance to see a beautiful Japanese garden, and experience the simplistic beauty of traditional Japanese design.

The Jinya also houses a number of artifacts, including art, books, and tools, from its heyday in the 17th through 19th centuries. Unlike a visit to a typical museum, at the Takayama Jinya you will be able to enjoy viewing these pieces of history in a building that is as old as the items on display!

Afterwards, you will be heading to the traditional downtown of Takayama, known as the “Sanmachi”, for a 30-minute guided walk, wherein your guide will show you around the area and make sure you don’t miss any scenic views. This portion of the tour will conclude at the entrance to the Miyagawa Morning Market, where your guide will give a brief introduction to the market and its place in Takayama culture.

You will then have a little over an 1 hour and 30 minutes of free time, where you may peruse the market, return to the Sanmachi to get a closer look at some of its shops, or head to some local restaurants to enjoy the delicious food of the Hida region; during this time, it is recommended that you also eat lunch. For guests who are interested, there are shops offering local sake for taste testing, and even sushi made with wagyu beef from local ranches!

Once this time is up, you will meet your guide at the entrance to the market. From there, you will begin your journey to Shirakawa-go. Taking roughly 1 hour, this drive will not be boring as there is scenery of great beauty just outside the window for almost the whole ride. If you are lucky, you may even spot some pheasants or deer on the way!

You will then arrive at Shirakawa-go, and start the second half of your tour. You will have a chance to go up to the famous look-out point from which the whole town of Shirakawa-go may be seen at once. Your guide will then lead you down the road, descending into the rice paddies and quaint streets that make up the village. Your guide will then lead you through the town of Shirakawa-go, introducing its highlights, during which time they will explain more about the town and answer any questions you may have about the sights you will be seeing.

Once the guided portion is complete, you will have some free time to explore at your own pace, and revisit places you want a better look at. During this time, you may enter into those farm houses which allow you to do so, or sample some of the snacks that are sold along the main street. Your guide will be around to answer any questions you may have.


Finally, you will meet up again with your guide at 16:30 to conclude the tour and start your trip back to Takayama, a journey which will take roughly 1 hour. You can expect to be back in Takayama around 17:30. Guests who have booked to continue onwards and end Kanazawa will do so here too. The drive to Kanazawa similarly takes a little over 1 hour, and you should not expect to be back any earlier than 18:40. Your guide will offer any assistance necessary to make sure you reach your destination, wherever it is, on time.

*Guests who have secured accommodation for the night around Shirakawa-go and wish to end the tour there are free to do so. Please inform your guide, and they will offer any additional help you may need. See our FAQs below for details.


09:00Start your tour at Takayama Station, where your guide will greet you begin the tour.
The meeting point will be immediately outside the ticket gates in the station, near the walkway to the left.
09:15Enter the Takayama Jinya for a 1-hour guided experience and an introduction to the history and culture of Takayama and the Hida region.
10:15Leave the Jinya and begin walking the traditional “Sanmachi” district in the heart of Takayama. Led by your knowledgeable tour guide, you will have a chance to see some of the woodwork this region is famous for and take in its scenic streets.
11:00After walking through the Sanmachi, your guide will bring you to the entrance of the Miyagawa Morning Market and introduce you to the local delicacies.
You will then have the chance to shop at the market, eat lunch, or return to the Sanmachi for more exploration.
12:50Meet your guide again and start your journey to the world-famous town of Shirakawa-go for an unforgettable afternoon.
13:50Arrive at Shirakawa-go and begin the second part of the tour. Take a walk through the town of Shirakawa-go and enjoy 1 hour+ of guided strolling. Feel free to ask your guide any questions you may have about the town and its history along the way. You will also be able to ascend to the famous viewpoint which overlooks the whole town - and have time to take photos!
15:00Begin your leisure time, where you have the freedom to explore Shirakawa-go at your own pace. You are encouraged to step into any of the open houses, enjoy a visit to a café, or browse through local shops for unique souvenirs or just explore more at your own pace.
16:30Reunite with your guide at the designated meeting point to conclude your tour and enjoy the drive back to Takayama.

***For guests who have booked to end their tour in Kanazawa, your scenic drive will commence shortly after.

Should you have any inquiries, your guide is available to provide all the necessary assistance. Please feel free to ask for help.
17:30Arrive at Takayama and conclude your tour.

Guests going to Kanazawa will arrive at around 18:40.



The meetup point is outside of the ticket gates at JR Takayama Station. Once you have left the gates, look to your left to see a walkway and a carving depicting an ornate wagon. You may wait nearby there until the tour begins at 9:00 A.M. Be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. There is also a waiting room with benches nearby for guests who have arrived early and would like to sit down; however, please make sure that you have left the waiting room and are in place at the meetup point at 9:00.



  • Transportation to Shirakawa-go from Takayama, and transport from Shirakawa-go to Takayama or Kanazawa (you may choose)
  • Entrance to the Takayama Jinya
  • Guided walks at both Takayama and Shirakawa-go
  • English speaking guide


  • Lunch
  • Accommodation

Other Information

  • This tour involves several hours of walking in the outdoors. We recommend that you wear shoes and clothes which are easy to walk in. Please check the weather forecast before you head to the meetup point and prepare an umbrella or rain coat if necessary.
  • In winter the temperatures may drop below freezing, and even during the daytime temperatures may not exceed 1-2 ℃ on some days. Please wear warm clothing and footwear appropriate for snowy and cold conditions. There may also be snow and ice on the road/sidewalk, and so you should take care to not slip by preparing the correct shoes for such conditions.
  • There will be free time at both Takayama and Shirakawa-go for guests to enjoy the locations at their own pace. However, please make sure that you are at the respective meetup points at the time stated by your guide. If you get lost or need assistance, feel free to call the number which is listed on your tour pass, and our staff will assist you immediately.


Q. I’d like to join this tour from Tokyo/Nagoya. Is that possible?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to reach the meetup point for this tour on time if leaving from Tokyo/Nagoya on the same day as the tour. We recommend guests to spend the night in Takayama or a nearby area on the day before the tour in order to be able to reach the meetup point by the starting time.

By participating in our 1 Day tour from Nagano and Matsumoto: Kamikochi and Matsumoto Castle, you will be able to start at Nagano Station/Matsumoto Station, view the historic Matsumoto Castle, and hike in scenic Kamikochi, from where you can take a short 1-hour bus ride to Takayama and spend the night - ready to participate in the Takayama and Shirakawa-go tour on the next day. Guests who take the early morning Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano - those departing at 6:16 or 6:28 - in order to arrive at Nagano Station for the 8:15 meet up time (or the Azusa Express leaving Shinjuku at 7:00 heading for Matsumoto) will be able to string together these two tours for an unforgettable two day experience in the heartland of Japan.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information.
Can I choose to end the tour at Shirakawa-go?
Yes, you may end the tour at Shirakawa-go instead of returning to Takayama from Shirakawa-go or continuing onward to Kanazawa. If you are intending to purchase a bus ticket to a location other than Takayama or Kanazawa, we can also help you book that. However, please note that locations other than Kanazawa or Takayama are not included in the cost of the tour.
What should I wear/bring?
Please wear clothing appropriate to the season in which you are taking the tour, and check the weather forecast ahead of time. Guests may wish to bring rain coats or umbrellas on rainy days, or sunscreen to avoid sunburn during the summer months. In the winter months, the air temperatures will be cold (5 to -5 ℃ on average), and so gloves, winter boots, warm hats, and hand warmers are recommended. Otherwise, please feel free to bring any other items, such as water or a snack, which you would normally carry when walking in the outdoors.
Can I add accommodation to my tour booking?
Yes. We can help book accommodation for guests who will be spending the night in Kanazawa, or returning for a night in Takayama. Please contact us for more information!
Is this tour wheelchair accessible/appropriate for guests with limited mobility?
The nature of this tour means it is not wheelchair accessible and may not be appropriate for guests with limited mobility, given the amount of walking involved. Should this be of concern, contact us prior to booking to discuss options.
Is lunch included on this tour?
No. This tour does not include lunch however there will be opportunities to purchase food and drinks during the tour. If you prefer to, please also feel free to bring snacks and drinks with you.

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara