Step aside Tokyo and Kyoto, because Takayama is taking over as the coolest kid on the block. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but it has definitely become more popular in the last few years, and you need to see it before it becomes another Instagram hotspot—trust me!

This charming city in the Japanese Alps is known for its preserved Edo-era streets, traditional buildings, and delicious street food.

But with so many different stays and areas to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to rest your head at night. That’s why I’ve put together this elite guide on where to stay in Takayama.

One of the best things about staying in Takayama is that you’ll find a variety of unique and traditional places in all different price ranges that will give you an authentic experience of the city. Whether you’re on a budget or traveling with a group this guide will help you find the BEST place to stay in Takayama.

Let’s go!

A girl dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono smiles for a photo.
Let’s explore the hidden gems and top stays in Takayama.
Photo: @audyscala

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Takayama?

Your Takayama experience greatly depends on where you choose to rest your head. As an experienced Japan backpacker, I’ve spent countless hours scouring Booking.com for the ideal spot and reading through reviews. This is my favorite selection of where to stay in Takayama. Thank me later.

Cup of Tea Ensemble | Best Hotel in Hachikenmachi

Cup of Tea Ensemble, Takayama

Traditional meets chic at Cup of Tea Ensemble, a charming guesthouse sitting in the south of the city away from the busy streets but still close enough to walk to the main attractions.

The beautifully decorated rooms exude traditional Japanese flair with a modern twist.

It’s perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together, with spacious rooms and a cozy common area to relax in after a day of exploring.

Hostel Fish in a River | Best Hostel in the City Center

Hostel Fish in a River, Takayama

Hostel Fish in a River is the perfect choice for budget travelers looking to experience Takayama’s natural beauty.

Nestled in the heart of town, this cozy Japanese hostel boasts a serene garden and a laid-back vibe. The dorm rooms are neat, and the staff are super friendly, going the extra mile to ensure your stay is top-notch.

Sumiyoshi Ryokan | Best Ryokan in Takayama City Center

Sumiyoshi Ryokan, Takayama

A traditional Japanese ryokan with all the modern comforts, Sumiyoshi Ryokan is my top pick for immersing in the culture and history of Takayama.

Located just minutes from the city center, this charming inn offers cozy rooms with traditional tatami mats and futon beds, as well as private hot spring baths for ultimate relaxation.

Takayama Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Takayama

FIRST TIME IN TAKAYAMA
Miyamae Bridge, Takayama
FIRST TIME IN TAKAYAMA

City Center

I can’t stress enough how convenient the city center is for your first time in Takayama. Apart from being close to all of the main attractions, it’s also within walking distance from the train station and offers a variety of accommodation options to suit any budget or travel style.

ON A BUDGET
Old Town, Takayama
ON A BUDGET

City Center

Usually, traveling on a budget means sacrificing location or amenities for a cheaper price, but luckily, in Takayama, you can still stay in the best area without breaking the bank.

FOR FAMILIES
Float Festival, Takayama
FOR FAMILIES

Hachikenmachi

In the south of Takayama lies the charming neighborhood of Hachikenmachi. Still within walking distance to a lot of major attractions, but far enough away that the stays can offer a bit more room to spread out.

Takayama is well connected by train to major Japanese cities and stands as one of the most beautiful places in Japan, offering a traditional cultural experience without all of the hoopla for tourists.

Located in the heart of the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, Takayama is a charming old town surrounded by the beautiful Japanese Alps. It’s the perfect destination to get out of the city and discover another side of Japan.

The city is really compact and only stretches about 3.5 km, meaning it’s super walkable for visitors. If you make the most out of it, you can see the city in 24 hours but I’d recommend at least a 3-day stay to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.

Depending on your travel style or preferences, you may want to consider staying in a specific area of Takayama to make the most of your Japan trip.

Smiling girl riding a train in Japan.
The trains in Japan are the best. Next stop: Takayama!
Photo: @audyscala

For your first time in the city, the city center is the best option. Here, you’ll be close to the train station and all of the main attractions. It’s definitely the most convenient location and offers a wide range of accommodation options from traditional ryokans to modern hotels.

A little bit further from the center, but technically still, the city center is the old town, also known as Sanmachi Suji. This area will make you feel like you stepped back in time with its preserved Edo-style streets lined with tiny cafes and sake breweries—uh, hell yeah.

For those looking for a quieter stay in Japan with their family, go for the Hachikenmachi area. This neighborhood offers easy access to the beautiful Hida Folk Village, a replica of an old Japanese village that showcases traditional farmhouses and daily life in the region.

Takayama’s Three Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

I know you’re begging for more after that brief overview of Takayama’s top neighborhoods, so I’m about to deliver a more in-depth look at the four best areas to stay in while exploring this beautiful town.

1. City Center – Where to Stay in Takayama for Your First Time

I can’t stress enough how convenient the city center is for your first time in Takayama. Apart from being close to all of the main attractions, it’s also within walking distance from the train station and offers a variety of accommodation options to suit any budget or travel style.

A photo of a classic Japanese meal, sake, beer and sashimi.
Daily hit of sushi and sake! The food in the city centre is UNREAL.
Photo: @audyscala

The food scene goes crazy in the city center, with more Hida beef restaurants than you can count. Seriously, bring your appetite and maybe a napkin to wipe up the drool.

Plus, this area is also home to Hida Kokubunji Temple, Takayama Jinya, and the Miyagawa Morning Market—all must-see spots in the city.

Iroriyado Hidaya | Best Hotel in Takayama City Center

Iroriyado Hidaya, Japan

For a cozy stay in the heart of Takayama City, look no further than Iroriyado Hidaya.

This traditional Japanese-style inn offers comfortable rooms and a warm atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

In the winter, you can soak in the hot spring bath after walking through the snow-covered town, and in the summer, you can enjoy a peaceful stroll through the beautiful garden.

Sumiyoshi Ryokan | Best Ryokan in Takayama City Center

Sumiyoshi Ryokan, Takayama

Staying in a Ryokan is a must-do experience when in Japan, and Sumiyoshi Ryokan in the city center is my favorite choice. The traditional Japanese rooms are authentic and comfortable.

They offer a delicious breakfast, and the staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Plus, it’s located only a minute’s walk to the morning market, so it’s a fantastic location for exploring the city on foot.

Oyado Yamakyu | Best Guesthouse in Takayama City Center

Oyado Yamakyu, Takayama

The Japanese Garden at Oyado Yamakyu really sets the tone for your stay. The traditional decor and atmosphere make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to ancient Japan.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the staff goes above and beyond, even picking you up from the train station if the weather makes a turn.

Things to See and Do in Takayama City Center

Guys get ready for a traditional dance at a festival in Takayama, Japan.
Don’t stare too much.
Photo: @audyscala
  1. Visit the historic Sanmachi Suji district for a taste of traditional Japan
  2. Explore the Takayama Jinya, a former government outpost with preserved buildings from the Edo period
  3. Take in the stunning views from Shiroyama Park
  4. Sample local delicacies at the Miyagawa Morning Market
  5. Learn about the history of sake brewing at the Takayama Shuzo History Museum
  6. Attend one of the many Japanese festivals held throughout the year, such as the famous Takayama Festival
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Aether Backpack

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2. City Center – Best Place to Stay in Takayama on a Budget

Usually, traveling on a budget means sacrificing location or amenities for a lower price, but luckily, in Takayama, you can still stay in the best area without breaking the bank. The city center offers a variety of budget-friendly stays from traditional guesthouses to modern hostels.

Old Town, Takayama
Can you feel the calm?

And with the area being so walkable, say goodbye to transportation costs and hello to exploring the city by foot. You can visit all the top Takayama attractions and still have money left over for souvenirs and delicious meals.

Ascend Hotel Collection | Best Hotel in the City Center

Ascend Hotel Collection, Takayama

For a break from the traditional guesthouses, the Ascend Hotel Collection offers modern and comfortable rooms at affordable prices.

No more floor futons and shared bathrooms, here you can enjoy your own private room with modern amenities. And it’s only a 3-minute walk from the train and bus stations for easy arrival.

Hostel Fish in a River | Best Hostel in the City Center

Hostel Fish in a River, Takayama

This small hostel is located right in the heart of Takayama and is perfect for a few nights in the city.

The host is extremely helpful with great English and will give you all the local recommendations and Japan travel tips you need.

The Japanese hostel is warm and cozy with a shared kitchen and lounge area, perfect for meeting other travelers.

Guesthouse Takayama Hanzansha | Best Guesthouse in the City Center

Guesthouse Takayama Hanzansha, Takayama

One of the best locations near the old town of Takayama, Guesthouse Takayama Hanzansha, offers traditional Japanese-style accommodation with futon beds and shared living areas.

It’s so cute and really gives off that authentic Japanese feel. The views from the rooms are amazing, especially in the winter when a blanket of snow covers the houses around.

Things to See and Do in Old Town Takayama

Delicious ramen with tofu in Tokyo, Japan.
Ramen hits different in Japan.
Photo: @audyscala
  1. Learn about the area traditions at the Hirata Folk Art Museum
  2. Take a Day Trip to Kamikochi in the Japan Alps
  3. Taste different types of sake at Funasaka Brewery
  4. Indulge in a bowl of ramen at Jingoro Ramen
  5. Visit the open-air museum of Hida Folk Village
  6. Walk along the Miyawaga River

3. Hachikenmachi – Best Neighborhood in Takayama for Families to Stay In

In the south of Takayama lies the charming neighborhood of Hachikenmachi. Still within walking distance to a lot of major attractions, but far enough away that the stays can offer a bit more room to spread out.

Float Festival, Takayama
Yep, that’s how it looks like a sunny day!

Along the Miyagawa River and near Nakabashi Park, families can enjoy the calming sounds of the water while taking in the beautiful views. This neighborhood is also frequented by more locals than tourists, giving visitors a more authentic and off-the-beaten-track experience in Takayama.

Cup of Tea Ensemble | Best Hotel in Hachikenmachi

Cup of Tea Ensemble, Takayama

The overall vibe of this hotel is (to be quite obvious) a cup of tea.

Recently renovated, the hotel is super chic with wooden accents and touches of traditional Japanese design that will make any interior design snob swoon (it’s me, I’m swooning.)

The rooms are dim for an excellent night’s sleep, and the common areas are cozy and comfortable—great for spreading out.

Manabi-stay Takayama | Best Apartment in Hachikenmachi

Manabi Stay Takayama, Takayama

This private apartment is perfect for families that are over typical hotel stays and are looking for more of a local vibe.

Located just a short walk from the train station this spacious apartment offers all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay including a large kitchen and living area.

Hidamari | Best Guesthouse in Hachikenmachi

Hidamari, Takayama

If you’re traveling with a big group, Hidamari is the perfect guesthouse for nurturing a deep sense of togetherness and unity, all under one welcoming roof.

The two-bedroom hotel rooms have plenty of space for both sleeping and lounging.

The place doesn’t have too much privacy, with single beds lined up in one of the rooms, but the traditional Japanese style makes up for it.

Things to See and Do in Hachikenmachi

A cup of coffee and a journal on a cafe table in Japan.
Always hunting down cool stamps and good coffee.
Photo: @audyscala
  1. Take in the Japanese architecture at Yoshijima Heritage House, an old sake brewer
  2. Grab a cup of coffee and a croissant from Train Bleu
  3. Visit the Hida Takayama Museum of Art
  4. Enjoy a Day Trip out to Gujo Hachiman
  5. Check out the Takayama Festival Float Exhibition
  6. Hike up to the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine
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Active Roots Security Belt

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FAQs About Where to Stay in Takayama

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive about places to stay in Takayama. If you have any questions of your own, drop them in the comments below.

What To Pack For Takayama

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Takayama

You can spend days researching safety statistics, travel only to the safest destinations, or pay extra money to fly with the best of the best airlines. Still, you’re never totally safe from the unexpected.

Even though Takayama is by and large a very safe place to stay, you should consider purchasing good travel insurance.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Takayama

I’m so excited Takayama is finally getting put on the travel map. It’s truly an underrated gem in Japan that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. And as a compact city, choosing where to stay won’t be a difficult decision.

The city center offers so much convenience and charm, that I can’t imagine choosing somewhere else to stay when visiting. You can stay in a traditional ryokan, explore the bustling morning markets, and easily access all the major attractions.

For me, it’s a no-brainer, I gotta push for my fav; Sumiyoshi Ryokan, it’s such a gem in Takayama that I’m sure you’ll love.

A girl takes selfie whilst hitchhiking in Japan.
Let’s head to Takayama.
Photo: @audyscala
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