Souvenir in Gifu
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Sanmachi Suji - Takayama Old Town
- Sanmachi Suji is a group of three main streets at the heart of Takayama city, lined with iconic architecture that creates a nostalgic atmosphere. The district is recognized as a Historically Significant Traditional Building Preservation Area which means all the old private houses and shop buildings are kept in impeccable condition. In fact it is widely regarded as one of the most well preserved areas in Japan, which has earned it the title of “Little Kyoto” The many residents and the influx of tourists means that although Takayama is by no means a deserted town, its height of prosperity was over 300 years ago when it operated primarily as a merchant town for the area surrounding Takayama Jinya, an important government office in the Edo Era. Made of the finest cypress and cedar, the iconic architecture of the old brown buildings with their latticed windows and low ceiling is one of Takayama’s claims to fame. Sanmachi Suji - Takayama Old Town The residents take preservation very seriously and insist that all the buildings in the district are black, to replicate how they were in the Edo period. The black paint hid the high quality of the wood and helped avoid inspections from governmental officials. If you look closely you will see horse paintings hung on the walls of museums and shops in Sanmachi Suji, a tradition started in southwest Takayama by locals wishing to bless their cattle and pray for an abundant harvest of silkworm cocoons. Sanmachi Suji - Takayama Old Town Even though the buildings are over 300 years old, many still operate as restaurants, souvenir stores and sake warehouses. It takes about 2 hours to properly explore all three of the parallel streets that make up the historic district and a bit longer if you stop off at some of the museums like Yoshijima House or Takayama Jinya. Look for the old geta shop, which is the last of its kind in the whole of Gifu and that sells only traditionally handmade wooden clogs. Following the narrow canals down the ancient streets you’ll eventually reach the Sakuramachi area where the crowd’s dissipate and the roads open up, giving you a better get a sense of Takayama’s architecture. Sanmachi Suji - Takayama Old Town ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
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Tucked away in the very center of Japan, Gifu prefecture houses mountains, old towns, and one of Japan's greatest hot springs, Gero Onsen. A tour of the prefecture's traditional architecture will take you from the mountain-enveloped wooden streets of Takayama to the mountain village of Shirakawago, where visitors can explore 250-year-old thatched roofed houses known as gassho-zukuri.
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