My one night stay here was inevitably getting to the endpoint. Since my train was leaving at 3:10PM, I decided to check out early and catch-up on bits that I have missed yesterday.
When the sun comes out, Takayama turns into a folk, full of vibe, old town. Along the Miya River you will find stalls with Sarubobo dolls in every form and shape, excellent origami souvenirs, delicious food and drinks plus plenty space to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere. Deeper in the old town among other tourists you can visit fantastic museums teaching about Edo traditions and arts, hire a bike to stroll around quicker or just isolate yourself from the noise and go back to the old Japan while walking down narrow streets surrounded by dark wood houses.
I also had one other attraction on my to-do list. It was the famous Hida Folk Village only 8 minutes by bus from the Takayama Bus Station. I obtained a discount bus ticket combined with an admission fee for 960 and made my way there right away.
The village is an air-opened museum representation of a typical Edo era settlement. All houses are open for exploration after we take our shoes off before entering. There are examples of houses of village’s head, woodcutters hut, storehouses and a number of gassho-zukuri farmhouses.
The last have earned the place National Heritage status due to their unique steep roofs made of even 1 meter thick straw. Originally those houses were located in a very mountainy region experiencing heavy snowing during the winter. Such roofs prevented from their collapsing under the weight of snow as it didn’t stick. Same goes for rain which easily slided down instead of letting straw to absorb it and weakening roof’s structure.
I highly recommend the place. It gives an insight into a traditional life of Japanese people between 1603 – 1867 before civilization had reached such villages and caused people to dessert them for comfort life in big towns. You probably won’t stay longer than 2-3 hours unless you take craftsman classes, which teach you how to manufacture various local products.