hida folk village takayama

Experience the Charm of Old Japan at Hida Folk Village Takayama

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Nestled amongst mountains an easy 10-minute bus ride from  Gifu Takayama’s old town center lies a delightful portal offering glimpses into old Japan. Hida Folk Village (Hida no Sato) is an enchanting open air museum where over 30 painstakingly preserved farmhouses and buildings

provide a captivating insight into traditional life in the Gifu region.


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No time to read the full article? Here’s a quick highlight:

  • Hida Folk Village is an open-air museum with over 30 preserved traditional houses showcasing life in the Japanese Alps during the Edo period
  • It’s a less crowded alternative to the popular UNESCO site Shirakawa-go with a more intimate experience
  • Marvel at the steep thatched roofs, see demos of traditional handicrafts like pottery and weaving, and explore artifacts of daily life centuries ago
  • Special events happen year-round from illuminations to festivals – see the full list below
  • Extend your visit with a handicraft workshop at the Takayama Crafts Experience Center across the road

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/hida-folk-village-takayama/

Experience the Charm of Old Japan at Hida Folk Village Takayama

You’ll be enthralled wandering the sprawling yet intimate grounds and entering the unique structures donning iconic steep thatched roofs built to withstand heavy snow.

Marvel at the buildings’ intricate architecture showcasing specialty woodwork techniques passed down through generations.

Watch live demos from weavers, woodworkers and potters practicing traditional handicrafts inside the houses. Discover relics giving clues into lifestyle and customs in the secluded villages dotting Japan’s picturesque Alps.

What makes Hida Folk Village extra special is it provides all of this in a setting more personal and less crowded than UNESCO World Heritage site Shirakawa-go – especially in summer.

Read on to uncover why it makes an excellent alternative and discover the delightful charms awaiting within this lovingly created portal to old Japan!

old town takayama hida folk village

Why Visit Hida Folk Village vs  Shirakawago

You may have seen stunning photos of the gassho-zukuri farmhouses with steep thatched roofs in Shirakawa-go blanketing the quaint village. Due to this Instagrammable scenery and UNESCO World Heritage status, tourists flock here in droves.

Waits up to 2 hours are common to reach the best vantage points like Shirayama Viewpoint. While Shirakawa-go is picturesque, issues around overtourism prevail. Visitors overwhelm the tiny village, locals struggle to maintain their way of life and the experience itself feels less authentic.

Conversely, Hida Folk  traditional Village provides intimate glimpses into traditional life without crowds spoiling it. See the near identical gassho-style architecture in Takayama’s backyard, but in a spacious setting allowing peaceful exploration.

Over 30 Edo period buildings were carefully relocated here in 1971 from Shirakawa and other Northern Hida villages to create the open-air museum. Entry to Hida is less than half the price of Shirakawa-go, so you get double the value!

Walking the grounds utterly immerses you in the past, evoking appreciation for the isolation and hardship of previous generations while strengthening Japanese cultural understanding. If you only have time to visit one, choose Hida Folk Village for the most enriching experience!

comparison table of Shirakawa-go vs Hida Folk Village:

Shirakawa-goHida Folk Village
Site SizeSmall mountain villageSpacious open-air museum grounds
LocationRemote mountain valley, 50 mins bus from Takayama10 mins bus ride from Takayama
Historic Buildings114 gassho-zukuri houses + 25 minka farmhouses30+ reconstructed gassho & minka buildings
UNESCO StatusYes – significant preservation of gassho building traditionNo – created later as a living museum
Entry Price¥1000¥700
AuthenticityVery high – still an inhabited farming villageHigh – expertly relocated original buildings showing great attention to detail
CrowdsVery crowded – several hour waits are commonLess crowded – more personal experience
WorkshopsNoneYes – opposite the entry, range of traditional crafts from ¥600
Best ForIconic photos, natural settingCultural insight, hands-on activities
When to VisitWinter is peak season for snow scenesGood year-round, festivals in other seasons

In summary, Shirakawa-go offers highly authentic mountain village charm but with the crowds to contend with. Hida Folk Village provides a more accessible, intimate and guided museum experience of the same beloved architectural traditions and culture. Visit both if possible!

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how to purchase hida folk village takayama tickets

Single Entry Ticket to Hida Folk Village 

  • Purchase on the day at the entrance gate
  • Valid all day from first use
  • ¥700 adults (¥350 children)

Combo Ticket w/ Takayama Museum of History

  • Entry to both Hida Folk Village & Takayama Museum of History
  • Total ticket ¥800 (¥400 children)
  • Valid 2 days from first use

Takayama Anshin Pass

  • This special tourist pass bundles entry to many Takayama attractions like Hida Folk Village plus discounts on selected shops, restaurants and transport. It is only sold through Takayama travel agents.
    • eg. this pass from Voyagin offers 1-5 days unlimited entry depending on duration of stay.
hida folk village takayama

How To Get to hida folk village From Takayama

Hida Folk village Address: 1-590 Kamiokamoto-machi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture
hida folk village Entrance fee: ¥700 (Parking ¥300)

Bus (recommended):

  • Frequent Sarubobo Bus from Takayama Station to dedicated stop at Village entrance
  • One way ¥210 (Day pass available ¥620)
  • Takes 10 mins

More Ways to Get There

Guided Day Tour to Hida Folk Village Takatama: Take the hassle out by joining a small group or private guided tour from Takayama.

Knowledgeable guides will provide commentary, point out highlights and transport to/from the village is included:

Private Driver: For ultimate convenience, book a private driver to deliver you from Takayama accommodation directly to the Village entrance:

hida folk village takayama
Mozumo Ryokan Takayama

Where To Stay in Takayama

I recommend staying at least one night in Takayama, ideally at a traditional ryokan, to fully embrace old Japan charm:

Mozumo Ryokan – Elegant historic townhouse Ryokan with open air onsen. Located in in the mountains 50 mins from Old Town, it is the ryokan we stayed at and I highly recommend it. It was the highlight of our trip.

Oyado Yamakyu – Classic style ryokan featuring indoor/outdoor hot spring baths a 20 min walk from Hida Folk Village. Free shuttle bus available.

Guest House & Cafe SOY – Modern bohemian style guesthouse among lush greenery a short drive from the museum. Provides free private parking.

how much time do you need at hida folk village?

The compact yet content-rich open air museum can be comfortably explored in 2-3 hours.

hida folk village takayama

What To See & Do at Hida Folk Village

Covering the small yet content-rich open-air museum fully takes 2-3 hours. Below are must-see highlights when visiting:

Handicraft Demonstrations – Marvel at weaving, woodwork & pottery crafts in action inside farmhouses

Daily Life Artifacts – Peer into old world life via 1,000+ household items cleverly exhibited in situ

Architecture – Stand in awe at majestic sloping straw roofs protecting buildings from heavy snowfall

Play Traditional Games – Have a go at spinning tops, stilts and string games popular in the Edo period

Carpenters Shrine – Be awed at intricate lattice woodwork hand-crafted with no nails or glue

Gift Shops – Peruse handmade folk art and craft souvenirs from the region

Cafe – Sample traditional sweets and refreshments between explorations

Notable Farmhouses In Hida folk Village Takayama

Several buildings are recognized as Nationally Important Folk Cultural Properties:

Wakayama House – Showcases both gassho and hipped roof styles denoting village of origin

Yoshizane House – Unique forked pillars saved it from collapse in the 1858 earthquake

takayama old town

Tanaka House – Typical large family home displaying over 989 regional artifacts

Taguchi House – Historic head family home passed down through generations

Hozumi House – Massive collection of 23 sleds for transporting stone from the mountains

Nishioka House – 230 silk harvesting & production tools on exhibit

Hida Folk village takayama Things To Do

Watch Live Demos of Traditional Handicrafts

Ladies demonstrate iconic regional handicrafts like weaving, woodwork and pottery inside select farmhouses. You may even have a chance to try them yourself! This brings exhibits to life, portraying these customs as still thriving artforms rather than relics of the past.

Explore Daily Life Artifacts

Each building reveals intimate vignettes into traditional livelihood via household items from the period cleverly displayed in situ. Get blown away uncovering ingenious gadgets fashioned from the natural materials around them using specialized wood joinery unchanged for centuries.

Marvel at Ingenious Architecture

Gape upwards at the majestic sloping straw roofs Shielding buildings from heavy winter snowfall. See differing roof construction techniques denoting village of origin.

Be awed at the puzzle-like lattice doors boasting the intricate chidori design. Watch craftsmen demonstrating methods used erecting these masterpieces of design passed down generations.

Play Traditional Childhood Games

Have a go at spinning tops, stilts and string games popular during the Edo period beside idyllic pond upon entry.

Compare your childhood favorites and ponder how little toys have changed.

Climb to ‘Carpenters Shrine’

Be rewarded with exquisite interior paintwork after scaling thigh-burning stairs to Takumi Shrine.

See chidori lattice up close and stand in awe at the skill of recreating such precision without glue or nails!

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/hida-folk-village-takayama/

Special Events Year-Round in Hida FOlk Village takayama 

While especially captivating under snow, Hida Folk Village delights year-round with foliage transforming each season.

Time your visit to coincide with one of these festive highlights:

Winter (Jan-Feb) – Illuminations
Spring (Mar-April) – Hinamatsuri Dolls Festival
Summer (July-Aug) – Iris Blooms / Tanabata Star Festival
Fall (Sep-Nov) – Rice Harvesting / Autumn Colors / Winter Prep Celebrations December – Christmas Illuminations

Extend Your Experience Across the Road

After uncovering cultural treasures of the past, create your own traditional crafts as future souvenirs!

The Takayama Crafts Experience Center offers workshops in

  • glass blowing
  • ceramics
  •  sarubobo doll making
  • and more f
  • from as little as ¥600 for 15 minutes.
  • Reservations not needed – just walk in!

Show your Hida entry ticket for discount. Highly recommended combing both centres to deeply engage in this delightful ancient corner of Japan before the secret’s out!

hida folk village takayama

 Hida Folk Village takayama history 

Hida no Sato came into being in 1971 when a group of volunteers from Takayama’s municipal tourism association proposed building an open-air museum.

The aim was to preserve the region’s traditional gassho architectural style buildings as they rapidly disappeared through urbanization and decay over time.

Local government, educator and business groups came together to support the vision and scouted for appropriate houses to relocate.

  • Over 30 buildings spanning 250 years in age and original distance up to 80km away were carefully dismantled and transported plank by plank to the dedicated museum site.
  • Master carpenters and artisans worked meticulously for two years reassembling the houses true to tradition without any nails, screws or glue.

The painstakingly precise work mirrors the builders of past generations. Many specialized joinery secrets were rediscovered in the process and passed onto apprentices, keeping the unique craft alive.

  • The vibrant museum opened in early July 1971 boasts over 989 preserved artifacts on rotating display inside the various houses.
  • Knowledgeable volunteers act as guides to share captivating insights into the region’s distinctive culture and history with visitors.

Today Hida no Sato continues to thrive as an award-winning cultural treasure allowing locals and travelers alike to glimpse into Gifu’s past.

Travel Tips for Visiting Hida Folk Village Takayama

  • Expect a smoky smell inside houses from open fires – you’ll soon adjust
  • Remove shoes when entering houses; slippers/socks ok
  • Allow enough time for workshops at Crafts Center
  • Buy handmade souvenirs from the Village Shop to support locals
  • Beware biting insects in summer; resist urge to swat flies entering houses

Crafted keepsakes like those above allow traditional skills to thrive

Can’t get enough of this delightful cultural corner of Japan? Check out The Full Takayama 2 Day Itinerary  with more captivating discoveries in the picturesque city with Hida Folk Village as a highlight.


is hida folk village worth visiting?

Absolutely! Hida no Sato offers an utterly unique opportunity to step back in time and glimpse life centuries ago in the secluded mountain villages of Japan’s Gifu region.

It provides an authentic lens to deeply engage with enduring cultural traditions from architecture, clothing, customs, dialect and food in one easily accessible open air museum. Intimate workshops even allow you to create related folk crafts to take home.

Beyond outstanding cultural insight, Hida Folk Village delights all the senses with striking visuals, aromatic open fires and nostalgic games transporting you through time. Thespian volunteers supplement displays with engaging commentary and tales that further bring the past alive.

As the best curated portal revealing the remote old world heritage of Northern Hida districts, visiting the Village proves not only worthwhile but highly recommended to comprehend this rapidly fading beautiful corner of Japan.

how much time do you need at hida folk village?

The compact yet content-rich open air museum can be comfortably explored in 2-3 hours. However additional workshops, re-visiting favorites and special events may entice you to linger longer. Below is a suggested timeline:

  • Orientation & Getting Bearings: 30 mins
  • Exploring All Sites & Exhibits: 1.5 hours
  • Browsing Gift Shops: 30 mins
  • Cafe Break: 30 mins
  • 1 Workshop: 30 mins

Total: Around 3 hours

With 30+ historic buildings, the small Village may seem navigable quickly but deserves unrushed appreciation to soak up subtle details. Budget extra time if planning workshops across the road or hitting a festival.

is hida japan worth visiting?

Absolutely, yes! The pristine Northern Hida region enveloping Takayama city offers a bounty of sacred cultural gems, phenomenal mountainscapes and charming rural towns frozen in yesteryear.

Takayama’s beautifully preserved old town district transports you to the Edo period with morning markets, sake breweries and a floating world feel. The remote eastern mountains beckon nature lovers to hike between tiny ancient hamlets.

As Takayama’s most prized cultural asset, Hida Folk Village itself makes visiting Hida worthwhile. Combine this open air museum with Takayama’s other historical structures, quick escapes deep into the Alps and indulging in local Hida beef for a heavenly taste of old world Japan!

Have you visited Hida no Sato or survived Shirakawa-go’s crowds? Share your experiences at these Japanese Alpine destinations below! I’m confident you’ll adore the charming Hida Folk Village portal to old Japan as much as I did.

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