[START FROM TAKAYAMA] Private Takayama & Shirakawa-go Tour

[START FROM TAKAYAMA] Private Takayama & Shirakawa-go Tour


All Year Round


09:00 - Takayama Area

Meeting Place

Takayama Station Area


211,200 ~ / groupJPY

[START FROM TAKAYAMA] Private Takayama & Shirakawa-go Tour

Embark on a journey to the heart of Japan’s heritage with our exclusive tour of Takayama and Shirakawa-go. These towns offer a serene escape into Japan’s traditional landscapes, far removed from the fast pace of urban life. Takayama, once a bustling economic hub due to its rich natural resources, now proudly preserves its historical town center. Stroll through its three main avenues and numerous alleyways, lined by crystal-clear waters and adorned with closely gathered, historic wooden buildings, showcasing the timeless beauty of Japanese architecture.

Shirakawa-go, a charming village renowned for its distinctive gassho-zukuri (thatched-roof houses), continues to preserve the rural charm of Japan’s past. Here, agriculture and cottage industries have thrived for centuries, offering a glimpse into the country’s enduring spirit. The village of Shirakawa-go is celebrated for its considerable number of traditional homes, inviting exploration and discovery.

With this private tour, the rich tapestry of Japan’s cultural and architectural heritage in Takayama and Shirakawa-go is yours to explore, all within the span of a single, unforgettable day.


  • Save time and enjoy private hotel pick-up and drop-off, saving you the trouble of arranging your own transport and allowing more time to explore.
  • Take advantage of luggage storage on our tour bus, freeing you from the hassle of managing luggage transfers and focusing on the experience.
  • Explore the historic Takayama Jinya, a remarkable remnant of the Shoguns central government. Now open for public exploration, it offers a deep dive into the rich history and heritage of Takayama.
  • Visit Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its picturesque gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Experience the traditional lifestyle with a rare opportunity to step inside one of these iconic thatched-roof homes, immersing yourself in the cultural heritage of central Japan.

Experience the heartland of Japan with this tour, which combines the rich traditions and pristine landscapes of the country. Guided by a knowledgeable English-speaking guide, travelers can enjoy Japan’s natural and cultural treasures at their own pace.


What’s typically included?

Embarking on this one-day tour starting from Takayama (or any location within 5km of the Takayama train station) features a guided tour of the Takayama Jinya, and an immersive walk through the historic village of Shirakawa-go. Our private tour vehicles ensure seamless transport throughout your journey. Depending on your plans, this tour can conclude at your accommodation in Takayama or at a chosen location in Kanazawa.

This one-day tour typically includes:

  • Use of a chartered vehicle with a dedicated driver for the tour.
  • Services of a private, English-speaking guide throughout the day.
  • Admission to the Takayama Jinya.
  • Transport to Shirakawa-go.
  • Entry into one of Shirakawa-go’s iconic Gassho-zukuri style houses.

Opting for a private tour ensures a personalized and intimate experience, letting you and your group delve deep into these remarkable destinations, free from the hustle and distractions often found on larger group tours.

The tour cost is calculated per person (aged of 6 years and over) with infants (under 6 years of age) included free of charge.


Tour Description

For our guests starting in Takayama, at 9:00 A.M., our comfortable tour bus will conveniently pick you up from your chosen location within the Takayama area. Your journey then begins with a visit to the historic Takayama Jinya, setting the stage for a day filled with exploration.

Upon arriving at Takayama Jinya, you will embark on a 1-hour guided journey through its historic halls. Your guide will unveil the rich history of this building and the pivotal role it played in Takayama’s past. You’ll explore rooms once reserved for official business, as well as private quarters used by high-ranking officials. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to view the Jinya’s exquisite Japanese garden, allowing you to appreciate the elegant simplicity inherent in traditional Japanese design.

The Jinya is also home to a remarkable collection of artifacts, including art, books, and tools, dating back to its golden era from the 17th to the 19th centuries. What sets the Takayama Jinya apart from a typical museum is the chance to view these historical pieces within the very walls that date back as far as the artifacts themselves. This unique experience allows you to step directly into the past, surrounded by the tangible history of Takayama.

After exploring Takayama Jinya, the journey continues to Takayama’s historic old town, known as the charming ‘Sanmachi.’ Throughout the approximately 30-minute guided stroll, your guide will lead you through this picturesque area, ensuring you capture all the scenic views that epitomize the beauty of traditional Japan. This part of the tour concludes gracefully at the entrance of the Miyagawa Morning Market. Here, your guide will provide a brief history of the market’s importance to Takayama and its evolution to what it is today.

After your guided tour, you’ll be given ample leisure time of more than 1 hour and 30 minutes. This period is not only your opportunity to explore the Miyagawa Morning Market and the quaint alleys of Sanmachi further but also a designated time for you to enjoy lunch. We encourage you to savor the culinary delights of the Hida region at local eateries. For a taste of local flavors, seek out shops offering regional sake tastings or indulge in exquisite sushi made with wagyu beef sourced from nearby ranches. This is your moment to immerse yourself in the gastronomy and culture of Takayama.

After your free time concludes, meet up with your guide at the market’s entrance for the journey to Shirakawa-go. The drive, lasting about an hour, is itself a scenic preview, with clear days offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges. These moments of natural splendor add a special touch to your travel experience, serving as a beautiful introduction to the enchanting landscapes of Shirakawa-go.

Upon arrival in Shirakawa-go, you’ll embark on the captivating second half of your tour. Begin with a visit to the renowned lookout point, offering a panoramic view of the entire Shirakawa-go village. From there, your guide will lead you on a gentle descent through the village’s picturesque rice paddies and charming streets. As you wander through Shirakawa-go, your guide will highlight the village’s key attractions, sharing insights and stories that bring the history and culture of this unique place to life.

Additionally, the tour includes entry into one of the iconic gassho-zukuri homes, a highlight that allows you to experience the traditional architectural style up close. This immersive journey through Shirakawa-go not only showcases its scenic beauty but also its rich cultural heritage, ensuring a memorable experience.

Once the guided portion concludes, you’ll enjoy approximately 1 hour of free time to explore Shirakawa-go at your leisure, allowing you to take a closer look at any places that captivated your interest. During this period, you’re welcome to enter other available farmhouses open to visitors or indulge in some of the delightful snacks available along the main street. Rest assured, your guide will remain nearby, ready to provide answers to any questions or offer recommendations to enhance your exploration.

Finally, you will meet up with your guide at 17:00 to wrap up the tour and commence the return journey to Takayama, expected to take about an hour. You’ll arrive back in Takayama by approximately 17:30, enriched by the day’s adventures. For those opting to conclude their journey in Kanazawa, anticipate your arrival around 18:40, carrying forward the day’s experiences into the evening.


9:00The tour vehicle will pick you up at 9:00 from Takayama Station or at your accommodation in Takayama
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.
11:15After 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 (get recommended from your guide), or return to the Sanmachi for more exploration.
12:45Meet your guide again board back on the tour bus and start your journey to the world-famous town of Shirakawa-go for an unforgettable afternoon.
13:45Arrive 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!
14:50Begin your free time, during which you will be able to explore Shirakawa-go at your own pace. Feel free to enter into any buildings that you are allowed to, eat lunch, visit a café, or shop for some souvenirs. Your guide will be available for questions and help during this time.
16:30Reunite with your guide at the designated meeting point to conclude your tour.
17:30Depending on your drop-off point you will arrive at your desired location within this time frame.



  • Transportation fee to and between all listed destinations and activities on each day of the tour
  • Entry ticket to all locations you visit on the tour
  • Guided walk at each location
  • 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.


I don't want to visit one of the locations on this tour, or want to go to a different location in addition to the listed destinations. Is this possible?
This tour page specifically caters to those who would like this specific itinerary as a way to see Takayama and Shirakawa-go in an efficient manner.If you would like to change this itinerary, please use our website to make a private tour inquiry which includes the details of what you would like in your tour, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
Can I choose to end the tour in Kanazawa?
Yes! you may end the tour at Kanazawa instead of returning to Takayama from Shirakawa-go or continuing onward to Kanazawa. If you wish to do so, you can choose to end the tour at Kanazawa during the booking process.We imagine that many guests will use this tour as a convenient means of traveling between locations.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible or suitable for mobility-impaired guests?
Unfortunately, this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired guests. The tour requires a significant amount of walking that is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness. There will be walking in both cities and small towns, and for guests visiting Takayama Jinya, there will be some small flights of stairs. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle with the conditions. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us prior to booking to discuss options.
I would like to join this tour from Tokyo/Nagoya. Is that possible?
Unfortunately, the start times of this tour are too early to allow for guests to come in from Tokyo or Nagoya on the same day. We recommend that guests stay the night before in Takayama or a city which is nearby.
Is accommodation included in this tour?
Accommodation is not included in this tour.For guests who would like help booking a room at a hotel or ryokan, please contact us
Can the tour bus pick me up/drop me off at my hotel?
For guests who are staying in hotels within a 5km radius of Takayama Station, we will be able to go directly to your accommodation.

(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