Winter Wonderland in Japan

If you want to experience amazing winter scenery, you need to visit Takayama, Gifu.  Takayama is a city in Japan’s mountainous Gifu Prefecture.  It is about 5 hours away from Tokyo and 4 hours away from Osaka, but It is worth a visit!  There are two places you must go while you are around the area.


 Sanmachi Street

The first place is called Sanmachi Street.  The street reminds me of Gion, Kyoto but I like Sanmachi Street more because many shops had been running its business for hundred of years, and it makes you feel you were back in their older times.  Plus it is less crowded than Kyoto.  The village is well preserved, and the buildings here are like the ones you see in old Japanese dynasty movies.  It’s like heaven for people who are big history buffs or simply love to take pictures.   While admiring the old wooden architecture and historical streets, you will encounter lots of nice restaurants, which serve grilled Hida beef, ramen, sushi, ice cream, and many more!!  There are many gift shops for souvenirs as well.  It is a beautiful street to stroll while you eat delicious local foods.

Tips and Recommendations
– most of the shops close before 5:00 pm and some restaurants are closed on Tuesdays.
– try the street foods, such as mitarashi-dango (made of warm soft grilled mochi ball covered in a sweet soy sauce), Hida beef sushi, and rice crackers.
– go to one of the sake breweries; with about 1 USD, you’ll get to taste different kinds of sake.


”Teyaki Sembei Dou”

Address: 85 Kamisannomachi Takayama Gifu

Open from 9am to 5pm



Address: 43 Kamisannomachi Takayama Gifu

Open from 9am to 5:30pm



The second place is called Shirakawa-gō. Shirakawa-go is a beautiful historic villages in snowy winter, and it is actually one of the UNESCO world heritage sites! They are famous for their traditional farmhouses, and some of them are more than 250 years old. It is about 50 mins trip from Takayama, and I highly recommend you to take a bus. The place is out of a fairytale, and every photo you take will be a piece of art. There are many souvenir shops with wide varieties of products, and you must try some of the local foods like Hida beef skewers.

Tips and Recommendations

– dress warm and take care of your steps during the snowy day.
– if you are willing to take photo on the observation point, you need to wait in line for 2 hours to get the ticket (500Yen/person).
– don’t miss their local food like Hida beef skewers and sake called, “amazake” a sweet fermented rice.


What do you think? If you want to know more about this place, let me know!! I’m happy to answer any questions you have.

Hope this inspired you to visit soon 🙂





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