The Hida region has a unique culture, forged internally by its harsh winter climate and forested mountain environment, and externally by a fusion of the cultures of Kyoto and Edo (modern Tokyo): the former spread by the Kanamori family in the 16th century, and the latter since the region became a dependent territory of the Edo Shogunate in the 17th century.
Takayama, the city in the heart of Hida, is THE place to experience the fruits of this rich heritage. A myriad of local workshops and retail outlets remain, often family businesses of long standing, with the tricks of the trade passed down faithfully through the generations. These establishments sell both folk crafts, such as Sashiko patchwork and Hanga wood block prints, and also traditional crafts borne from ‘high’ culture, including intricate wooden carving and Shunkeinuri lacquerware.
In this tour, our knowledgeable guide will accompany you on your journey through these local craft shops while offering fascinating insights into the origins, history and production techniques of the skilled Hida craftsmanship you will encounter.
Ittobori (wood carving)
Hand-painted Japanese candles
A Sashiko storefront
A Shibukusa-yaki storefront