Thatched Roof Farmhouses of Hida Folk Village, Hida-Takayama

Golden week is one of the most awaited national holiday in Japan. A week, where several consecutive holidays are scheduled to take place and with only two working days in between. For most working men and women, this is the perfect opportunity to dust off those luggages and cross another country on the travel list.

Though, I have intended to  visit either Seoul or Taipei, I need to revise my plan mainly for two reasons: 1) My boss and his persistent approving/disapproving of vacation leave,  2) the airfare price is ridiculously expensive, as if these airlines are basking on the need for people to travel overseas

So I decided to stay put instead, find a place in Japan where I can have the relaxation that I was looking for, somewhere to hide behind the mountains and farm houses. Some place that reminded me of my country during those long summer holidays, where everyone from the city migrated to the provinces for some fresh air.

After searching for the most ideal location, I was bound for a 4 days trip to Hida-Takayama.

Before wandering on the preserved old town  of Takayama, I decided to head south of the JR Takayama station and spend my first day at Hida Folk Village Area, where my dormitory accommodation was located.

To experience how the whole village used to look like or a trip back to the simple times, a visit to Hida No Sato (Hida Folk Village) is recommended. A 99,000 square meter of land, occupied by almost 30 thatched roof farm houses (gassho), with the pond in the middle and the mountain backdrop adding to the place over-all charm.

You can enter the farmhouses were everyday necessities are displayed, for a glimpse of the life and the culture of mountain farm villages. Even the kids were encouraged to give up their Nintendo DS for a day and submerged themselves into playing with traditional toys or joined the arts and crafts center.

Creating an over-all atmosphere of calmness is the man playing his flute at the nearby Silkworm display.

The people of Hida-Takayama are famed for their mastery of carpentry and woodwork.

After spending an hour or so at Hida no Sato, I took a stroll at the Folk Village area. Noticeable are the magnificent ryokans at the beginning of the Walking Path of Literature. Most of the restaurants are closed, since everyone was on holiday break and the nearest convenient store is 2 km away, which I assume is required in order to preserve the ambiance of a traditional village. Over-all, a very quite town, combined with the afternoon spring breeze will makes you want to laid back and relax.

On my quest to find a coffee shop, I ended up at the Hida-Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village.  A cute museum with a shop, that focuses on the importance of ecological protection and specialized in variety of teddy bears.

Coffee, cake, and a paperback- way to start my golden week.

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72 thoughts on “Thatched Roof Farmhouses of Hida Folk Village, Hida-Takayama

    1. Hi Lisa,

      unfortunately, didn’t manage to enter the museum, it was already closed except the coffee shop.
      must be nice to see teddy bears on all sizes :)

  1. I think I love this view of Japan the most. I think all that tech is great but it’s so beautiful to see the simpler villages. It’s very relaxing. Thank you for taking us along. That teddy bear museum must be so cute. Love the food picture. :)

    1. agree with you Lisa. i feel the same way too..
      i appreciate this country evem more after seeing the mountains, farm houses and the simple lives and villages..

  2. This is brilliant!! I love Shirakawa-go. Check out my blog http://adlibber.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/ode-to-autumn-travel/

    I was there in Autumn and the colours were glorious! Unlike you though, I didn’t spend as much time as I’d wanted to as I had to catch the bus back to Takayama (which was also gorgeous) to catch the train back to Nagoya. But I would definitely go back if I had the chance.

    And I’ll definitely be dropping by your blog too.

    1. saw your post.. beautiful autumn, beautiful shots of the kids :)
      i’m loving the Gifu / Nagano region of Japan.
      thank you :)

      1. Thanks. I was in Takayama only for the weekend. So didn’t get to spend as much time there as you did. But I enjoyed the Old Town.

        I followed your blog. Look forward to more pics of Japan. I love Japan.

  3. i like your photos ^^
    keep posting your experience of japan with awesome photos!!! yey X)

    1. agree.. i love, love their arrangements.
      little teddy bear towel and the little biscuit on top of the cake :)

      1. everything is always presented with such elegance (and so cute!). I would love to visit – I checked the JNTO website and they aren’t running that incentive for flights there :( I was reading about a garden in Kyoto maybe, that asks all visitors to 1)ask permission to visit 2)upon entry, visitors must write some calligraphy so they can get in the mode of exploring the gardens. Have you heard of it?

        1. hi Marina,
          so sad to hear that the government has backed out on their incentive flight plans.
          i am not aware of the garden in Kyoto but thankfully Rurousha of http://www.rurousha.blogspot.jp/, has some answer, here it is:

          It’s Saihō-ji in Kyoto, also called the Moss Temple. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You need to apply in writing at least a week in advance, pay an entry fee of ¥3000 and agree to participate in Buddhist rites (such as chanting and copying sutras). The most popular time to visit is next month, June, during the rainy season.

        1. thank you!
          i read an interesting japantourist.jp article about hiking at kamakura at metropolis magazine. i’m planning to follow the suggested daibatsu trail one of these days to photograph/write..

  4. Orchid, I apologize in advance for hijacking Marinachetner’s question, but I happen to know the answer.

    It’s Saihō-ji in Kyoto, also called the Moss Temple. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You need to apply in writing at least a week in advance, pay an entry fee of ¥3000 and agree to participate in Buddhist rites (such as chanting and copying sutras). The most popular time to visit is next month, June, during the rainy season.

    1. Rurousha, thanks for your answer..
      i am not aware of this actually.. must be interesting. will surely pass this info to Marina..

      thanks!

  5. this seems like a wonderful place to visit. i can’t travel so extensively so its wonderful to see your country through your images. am still trying to explore mine..

  6. Orchid, these are really beautiful and engaging posts. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Wow! Loved the way you are revealing hidden parts of Japan…loved your latest post on Shibazakura flowers as well. This location feels so tranquil and Swiss…the huts are like Swiss chalets… :) thank you for liking my post as well. delight!

  8. Again, you are revealing aspects of Japan which are so beautiful. We need to go back to this ingrained knowledge of life people had before! It was just spontaneous, simply looking at nature. This is ecology, perfect tune with the environment.
    Thanks a lot for this beauty and poetry.

  9. I have been to Shirakawago which has the gassho type buildings and I loved it. I’ll put this place on my list to see for certain!

  10. I love Hida-Takayama! I went to Takayama and Gokayama last Silver Week and to Shirakawa-go in January. I love seeing all the different seasons there. ^^

    1. me too… Takayama is one of the places in Japan that I would love to go back again and again..
      even the train ride from Nagoya is so worth it :)

      thanks again!

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