Where to stay in Takayama – Best Areas And Hotels For 2024

Takayama, located in the mountainous region of Gifu, central Japan, is a city with a rich cultural history and numerous attractions to offer. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Japanese ryokan or a modern hotel, you’ll find a variety of accommodations to suit your needs. Takayama is a very walkable city, making it easy to explore the many historic sites and museums, no matter where you decide to stay. Additionally, the city’s public transportation system, including buses and trains, offers easy access to other parts of the region.

Takayama experiences four distinct seasons, with mild summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Takayama is in the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November), when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. The city’s stunning cherry blossoms in the spring and vibrant foliage in the autumn make these seasons particularly popular, so booking your accommodation early is recommended. It’s worth noting that Takayama’s mountainous location can make it prone to heavy snowfall during the winter months, so be mindful of this when planning your trip.

In this guide, I will provide a detailed description of each area in Takayama and explain why it is a great option for you to stay there based on your preferences, budget, and travel style.

Where to stay in Takayama? – Summary

Best Takayama Neighbourhoods

  • Best area for first time visitors: Takayama Centre
  • Best area for couples: Aioimachi (centre)
  • Best area for nightlife: Asahimachi area
  • Best area for families: Near Hida Kokubunji Temple
  • Best area for shopping: Honmachi, Old Town, Frespo Hida
  • Best area for history: Sanmachi Old Town
  • Best area for budget: No specific area (see top hotels)
Where to stay in Takayama - Neighbourhood Map

Are you visiting Takayama for the first time? Then Takayama City Centre is the ideal starting point for first time visitors, as it offers convenient access to major attractions, restaurants, and accommodation. Sanmachi, the Old Town is just across the river, 5 mins walk away. Takayama Station, the city’s main transport hub, is around the corner.

The main attraction of Takayama is the Sanmachi Old Town, Takayama’s historic heart. This well-preserved area is characterized by its narrow streets, lined with traditional wooden buildings. It takes about 45 mins on foot to get to the Hida Folk Village.

Aioimachi, a small neighbourhood in the centre, is perfect for couples. If you are after a romantic getaway, you will find the best ryokans that offer relaxing hot spring here. Enjoy leisurely strolls along the lovely Miyagawa River, experience a traditional tea ceremony, and explore the traditional, narrow streets of Sanmachi.

The Asahimachi area is the city’s nightlife destination. This area boasts a wide range of bars, izakayas, and karaoke bars. If you want to try the local sake at one of the sake breweries, walk over to Kamininomachi (in the Old Town). I highly recommend Hirata Sake Brewery, they offer a large selection of local sake in their shop. Alternatively, join a sake tasting tour, visit the brewery and learn about the tradition of sake making.

Families visiting Takayama will find the area surrounding Hida Kokubunji Temple to be a great choice for their stay. This tranquil neighbourhood offers a great selection of hotels with larger family rooms.

Fancy some shopping? Depending on what you are after, in Honmachi, the Old Town, and Frespo Hida you will definitely find it. Honmachi and Old Town are home to numerous shops selling traditional souvenirs, crafts, and local delicacies. Explore the historic Sanmachi Old Town, where you’ll find beautifully preserved wooden buildings housing speciality shops, sake breweries, and art galleries. Meanwhile, Frespo Hida is a modern shopping centre offering a wide range of retail options, from clothing and electronics to food and household items.

❤️ Best Area for first time:Takayama Centre
💎 Best luxury 5* hotel:Honjin Hiranoya Annex
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Ryokan Seiryu
🛏️ Best budget hotel:Fav Hotel Takayama
Where to stay in Takayama Summary

Where to stay in Takayama?

The central areas of Takayama city stretch about 3.5 km along the bay and the Uragami River. Where to stay in Takayama depends on your itinerary and what you are interested in. If you’re planning a trip to Takayama, here are some recommended areas to stay:

  • Takayama Centre – This area is the heart of the city and a great place for first-time visitors and families. It’s perfect if you want to be close to Takayama’s tourist attractions, get easy access to restaurants and shops.
  • Sanmachi (Old Town) – Great for history and culture, this well-preserved district has narrow streets lined with traditional wooden buildings dating back to the Edo Period.
  • Takayama Station Area – Very central area close to all major attractions. Best stay here if you are planning to take days trips from Takayama.
  • Hanasatomachi (and Tenmanmachi) – The Southern part of the centre, stay here for a less touristy, more residential vibe.

Japan Rail Pass

The optimal way to explore Japan is with a rail pass that is available for durations of 7, 14, or 21 days, offering unlimited travel across the country. Shinkansen included!

Takayama Centre

Located between Takayama Station and the Miyagawa river, the central downtown area provides a blend of modern and traditional elements to cater to a diverse crowd. It’s the best place to stay for first time visitors because it’s central location and proximity to popular attractions. You will find a good selection of restaurants and bar here. Families travelling with kids will prefer the hotels near the Hida Kokubunji Temple. These hotels offer larger family rooms, but you don’t have to compromise on location.

Hida Kokubunji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple that dates back to the Nara period (710-794). It was established by Emperor Shomu in 746 as one of the provincial temples constructed throughout Japan. The temple is home to a three-story pagoda and a 1,200-year-old ginkgo tree, which is considered a natural monument.

Yamazakura Shrine, in English “Mountain Cherry Blossom Shrine”, is a Shinto shrine famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms, which bloom in spring and attract many visitors each year. The shrine’s main deity is believed to provide blessings for a successful harvest, and local farmers often visit the shrine to pray for good fortune. You can visit the peaceful gardens and enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms if you are visiting in the spring.

Hida beef from Takayama

If you get hungry, this area has many restaurants that serve the famous Hida Beef a type of Wagyu beef. Pick a restaurant and try this locally produced meat, that comes from a specific breed of cattle raised in the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. Our favourite restaurant that served Hida Beef in Takayama were Maruaki, which is known for its grilled Hida Beef skewers, and Ajikura Tengoku, which serves a variety of Hida Beef dishes, including sukiyaki and shabu-shabu.

Takayama Jinya is a historical government building that served the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period. It is the only remaining jinya (local government office) from that time, which makes it a valuable cultural and historical attraction. The complex consists of several buildings, including the governor’s office, residential quarters, storehouses, and a courtroom. Explore the well-preserved structures and get a glimpse at the Hida region during the Edo period.

Nakabashi Bridge Takayama

Nakabashi Park is a tiny park at the foot of the iconic red Nakabashi Bridge, which spans over the Miyagawa River. From the bridge, the view of the surrounding traditional wooden houses and the Hida Mountains look stunning.

Where to stay in Takayama Centre?

You can pick from far the largest selection of hotels in the central area. The ryokans usually go for over $200/night, but it’s possible to find a bargain. When you are booking your hotel, make sure you have free cancellation.

If you are wondering where to stay in Takayama, I recommend booking a hotel in the centre. It’s an excellent location, you have access to all attractions, restaurants, and bars. The place is walkable, and you won’t even need to use public transport.

Honjin Hiranoya
Luxury Hotel8.8

Honjin Hiranoya Annex is a ryokan that offers open-air hot spring baths with city views and Japanese-style guest rooms with tatami flooring and futon bedding. Guests can enjoy multi-course Japanese dinner made with Hida Beef, choose from 800 yukata robes, and relax in the terrace. The ryokan also features a computer with free internet access and offers a selection of Western or Japanese meals in the dining area.

Click here for prices and book Honjin Hiranoya

Ryokan Asunaro
Ryokan Hotel8.8

Ryokan Asunaro is a traditional Japanese-style hotel offering comfortable rooms with free WiFi and a seating area. Guests can relax in the public hot-spring bath and enjoy free yukata robe rental for women. The hotel serves meals made with local ingredients, and the rooms feature traditional Japanese decor with paintings by local artists. The hotel also features a garden, drinks vending machines, and bicycle rentals.

Click here for prices and book Ryokan Asunaro

Rickshaw inn
Budget Hotel8.8

Rickshaw Inn is a Japanese-style hotel offering non-smoking rooms with free WiFi, an LCD TV, and a private bathroom with a bathtub and amenities provided. Each room has traditional futon beds on a tatami floor. The hotel’s common area features wood furnishings and old-style decor with exposed beams, and a shared-use microwave is also available for guests to use.

Click here for prices and book Rickshaw inn

Sanmachi (Old Town)

Sanmachi is one of the most well known historic districts famous for its well-preserved Edo-period buildings, traditional shops, and local crafts such as pottery, lacquerware, and sake brewing. The district has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can experience traditional Japanese culture by exploring the narrow streets, visiting local shops, and trying regional delicacies.

The name “Sanmachi” translates to “three streets” in English, as it consists of three parallel streets: Ichi-no machi, Ni-no machi and San-no machi. (Really, there a 4 street, but nobody country the one closest to the river for some reason.)

The second street from the river (ignore the first one) is San-no machi. This is the most popular. If you cross the Ikada bridge, turn left for the sake brewers or turn right for the historic streets. The city has over a dozen sake breweries, many of which have been in operation for centuries and are still run by the same families.

Sake barrel from Takayama

One of the most famous sake breweries is the Hirase Sake Brewery, which was founded in 1868 and is still run by the Hirase family. Their signature sake, called “Hirase Hida no Takumi,” is made using local Hidahomare rice and is known for its smooth, mellow flavour.

Walk the opposite direction along the river, and you will find the Morning Market has been a tradition in Takayama for over 400 years. It’s open every day from early morning until noon and is known for its fresh local produce, handmade crafts, and street food. It’s a great place to pick up a souvenir.

Top Tip: Try the Hida beef skewers, which are grilled on the spot and served with a variety of sauces.

Also in this district, two very interesting museums, I recommend you visit. The first is the Hida Takayama Town Museum that displays the history and culture of Takayama city, and it also has a lovely garden. The other is the Takayama Shōwa-kan Museum that focuses on the culture and lifestyle of Japan during the mid-20th century, with a collection of over 30,000 artefacts, including household items, toys, clothing, and photographs. It also includes a cool replica of a typical Japanese street from the Showa era (1926-89).

Lastly, if you still have some energy, the Shiroyama Park and forest has a pretty great lookout point with stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains. It’s also a great spot for a walk. If you are travelling with kids, there is a small playground on the other side.

Where to stay in Sanmachi (Old Town)?

Most hotels are fairly old here, as you would expect it. Most accommodation will be small guest houses with just a few rooms. It’s not possible to stay in the Old Town, but there are places at the edge of the district in the North and South.

Hotel Wood Takayama
Ryokan Hotel8.8

Hotel Wood Takayama is a modern ryokan that provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private parking. Every room is fitted with a desk, private bathroom with a bidet, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Asian breakfast is available daily, and sake tasting every evening.

Click here for prices and book Hotel Wood Takayama

Taniya Ryokan
Private Ryokan Hotel8.8

The air-conditioned villa consists of 2 bedrooms, a living room, a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and a coffee machine, and a bathroom with a wooden bath and views of the Japanese garden.

Click here for prices and book Taniya Ryokan

Takayama Ninja House
Budget Hotel8.8

Takayama Ninja House offers Japanese style, air-conditioned tatami rooms with free WiFi. There is an on-site bar, and free shuttle service is available upon prior request.

Click here for prices and book Takayama Ninja House

Takayama Station Area

The Takayama Station is the first thing most tourists see when they arrive to the city. It is not as impressive as stations in larger cities, but the surrounding area makes up for it. There are quite a few good restaurants her, and also breakfast places and coffee shops. The Ekimae Chuo Dori (Street) leads straight to the Old Town. It’s a short 10 mins walk and the street is lined with many interesting shops, so you will likely stop on the way.

This is a modern area with many restaurants and a variety of accommodation options, ranging from tall(er) Western style hotels to traditional ryokans. Again, don’t expect the usual skyscrapers when you exit the station building. Takayama is a small city and the tallest buildings are 6-10 stories high.

The bus on the Shokawa Line will take you to the Hide Folk Village (17mins). The bus leaves from in front of the station and drop you off just a short walk away from the entrance, at Harayama Guchi bus stop. Check with the driver about the schedule to make sure you don’t miss the last bus back, although it’s not a very long walk.

Where to stay near Takayama Station?

The hotels offer the usual, standard rooms, but they are definitely bigger than the ones you find in Tokyo. Some hotels mix Japanese style rooms with Western style amenities, which actually works really well.

If you decide to go for a privately rented apartment, you can expect a small kitchen and washing machine to be provided. We found, these come handy if you’ve been travelling around Japan for a while. Having your own washing machine is certainly better than washing your clothes at the hotel.

Residence Hotel Takayama Station
High-end Hotel8.8

Great for Families! Residence Hotel Takayama Station is a 4-star hotel offering a fitness centre, non-smoking rooms, and a terrace. The hotel’s air-conditioned rooms come with various amenities, including a flat-screen TV, a kettle, a fridge, a microwave, a balcony, and a private bathroom with a shower. An à la carte breakfast is available for guests.

Click here for prices and book Residence Hotel Takayama Station

Mid-range Hotel 8.8

This 4-star hotel provides large rooms with seating area, a kettle, a flat-screen TV. Some rooms feature a balcony or city views. Bed linen and towels are provided in every room. The hotel serves a buffet or continental breakfast.

Click here for prices and book eph TAKAYAMA

Chisun Grand Takayama
Budget Hotel8.8

The rooms in Chisun Grand Takayama are fitted with a kettle, flat-screen TV and free toiletries. Guests can use the sauna and spa centre or rent bikes for free.

Click here for prices and book Chisun Grand Takayama


Hanasatomachi is a mostly residential area, hence I put it last as a place I recommend you to stay when visiting Takayama. The place is quiet, less touristy than other parts.

The one important attraction is the small Hida Tenmangu Shrine, built in 1591. Its architecture is interesting because it shows the traditional Hida style, with a steeply pitched roof and wooden beams held together without the use of nails.

Frespo Hida, a modern shopping centre, is down the road. You will find a UNIQLO and a couple of supermarkets here. Again, mainly used by locals, this is not your usual shops aimed at tourists.

We have found a small bakery called Train Bleu close to the Sunori River, serving French style goods. Arrive early and grab some freshly baked treats.

Stay in Hanasatomachi if you fancy a quieter location and don’t mind the little extra walk to the main attractions.

Where to stay in Hanasatomachi?

There are some really nice hotels here and if you book early, you can get a bargain price. For example, the Wat Hotel has a spa at the top floor with views of the mountains and the city, but the rooms only cost around $100/night.

Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama
High-end Hotel8.8

Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama offers rooms with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries, a wardrobe and a kettle. A buffet breakfast is served each morning. The on-site restaurant serves both International and Japanese cuisines. Guests can make use of the hot spring bath.

Click here for prices and book Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama

Hotel and Spa Gift
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Well set in Takayama, Hotel and Spa Gift TAKAYAMA provides air-conditioned rooms, TV, a kettle, a restaurant, free WiFi and a bar. You have access to a sauna in the spa. The hotel offers a buffet breakfast in the morning.

Click here for prices and book Hotel and Spa Gift

Cup of tea Hostel
Japanese Style Budget Hotel8.8

This small hostel provides dorms style/tatami rooms with shared bathroom equipped with a bidet and free toiletries. You have access to a small kitchen and microwave, and tea making facilities.

Click here for prices and book Cup of tea Hostel

Takayama hotel with private onsen

Takayama hot spring onsen

If you are looking for a hotel with your private hot spring, here is a selection of options, arranged by price.

Best hotels for families

I have hand-picked some of the best hotels for families in Takayama. These hotels have large family rooms and located close to attractions.

Luxury Apartment Hotel8.8

IORI Stay is a traditional Japanese-style town house located in Takayama, which was renovated in 2015. The house was designed with a blend of modern and traditional Japanese influences and was created in collaboration with local artists. Guests can enjoy the entire property during their stay, and if they require transportation, free pick-up from JR Takayama Station is available upon request. The property includes a kitchen equipped with a microwave, fridge, stove-top, and kettle. Guests can enjoy a traditional Japanese-style breakfast on site, and vegan and vegetarian options are available upon request.

Click here for prices and book IORI Stay

BEYOND HOTEL Takayama 1st
Japanese Style Apartment Hotel8.8

BEYOND HOTEL Takayama 1st has well-equipped accommodation fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area, a TV and a private bathroom with bidet, free toiletries and a hairdryer. A fridge, a microwave, and stovetop are also available.

Click here for prices and book BEYOND HOTEL Takayama 1st

Two-Bedroom Apartment Hotel8.8

Built in 2018, Itomori Apartment is fitted with a kitchen, a microwave, a toaster, and fridge, and a coffee machine, a dining area, and a private bathroom with a free toiletries and bath.

Click here for prices and book Itomori

Best hotels for budget travellers

If you are looking to book a budget friendly hotel in Takayama, have a look at my hand-picked selection of hotels. These are all 4 and 3-star hotels (at the time of writing) under $70/night. The rooms are large, all come with private bathrooms.

Chisun Grand Takayama
Budget Hotel8.8

Chisun Grand Takayama features 4-star accommodation in a central location. All guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle, flat-screen TV and free toiletries. There is even a sauna and spa centre. You can rent a bike for free at the reception.

Click here for prices and book Chisun Grand Takayama

Hotel Kuretakeso Takayama Ekimae
Budget Hotel8.8

Hidden on the other side of the station, Hotel Kuretakeso Takayama Ekimae is a 4-star hotel that provides air-conditioned rooms that are equipped with a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer. You can enjoy the spa and sauna. For morning, sample the buffet breakfast.

Click here for prices and book Hotel Kuretakeso Takayama Ekimae

Takayama City Hotel Four Seasons
Budget Hotel8.8

Takayama City Hotel Four Seasons features a public hot spring bath, and a restaurant. Rooms have a TV, a fridge and an electric kettle, Yukata robes, toiletries and a hairdryer. You are greeted with a welcome drink, and can unwind in a hot spring bath, which is separate per gender. Restaurant Shinsuke caters a daily buffet breakfast, while à la carte meals are available for lunch and dinner.

Click here for prices and book Takayama City Hotel Four Seasons

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth going to Takayama?

Takayama is a really cool place to visit all year around. It’s a small town, but there is a lot to do. Takayama has one of the best, well-preserved historical streets in the whole of Japan. It was nick named “Little Kyoto”. The Hida Folk Village is another attraction that you can not miss if you are interested in traditional Japanese culture. It’s less touristy than the large cities. Most accommodation comes with a hot spring bath, or you can even book a place with your own onsen without breaking the bank.

What is the famous street in Takayama?

The area with the well-reserved historical houses and buildings is called “Sanmachi”. The name translates to “three streets” in English, as it consists of three parallel streets. The name of the streets are Ichi-no machi, Ni-no machi and San-no machi. San-no machi is the most famous street.

How many days do you need in Takayama?

I would recommend you stay 2 nights in Takayama. That should be enough to explore the city and take a trip to the Hida Folk Village. If you fancy soaking in the hot springs and indulging in some delicious Japanese foods at a ryokan, maybe add one extra night.

Share this post
Greg Varga, co founder and travel writer at You Could Travel

Greg Varga – Greg Varga is a travel writer and the co-founder of You Could Travel. He has travelled to over 50 countries and lived in 7, including Japan. Greg loves writing about his travels around Japan and sharing his knowledge with others. He is an expert on organising self-guided itineraries for visitors to Japan.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *