More than its famous shrines! A 2 day 1 night full experience of Takachiho
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When thinking of Takachiho Town, one would naturally think of shrines.
But of course, there is more to Takachiho than the shrines. The town offers beautiful sceneries and delicious food. Here, we will introduce you to a two-day one-night course that will help you make the best of your stay in the Takachiho area.
First, a visit to Takachiho Shrine
Start at the Takachiho Shrine to pray for a safe journey.
The shrine is located along the main street, with a large parking lot, and is easy to find—a great starting point for your trip.
Takachiho Shrine, the souja of the 88 shrines at Takachiho-Go area(head shrine for the gods enshrined in the region), is a distinguished shrine with a history dating back to the Heian Period.
The grounds of the shrine is also home to power spots like the Meoto Sugi (Husband and Wife Cedars) and Shizume Ishi (Calming Power Stone). We encourage you to take a walk around these power spots on your visit to the shrine.
★Click here for directions to Takachiho Shrine!
A casual lunch of Japan’s best beef, Takachiho Beef
Next, head for lunch at the Tomoemaru Cafeteria, located a three-minute walk away from Takachiho Shrine.
We recommend the broiled Takachiho beef rice bowl. Not many people know this, but the Takachiho brand of beef has won the Prime Minister’s Award, making it genuinely the best wagyu beef.
★Click here for directions to Tomoemaru Cafeteria!
Walk the mystical canyons of Takachiho Gorge
Takachiho Town’s No. 1 tourist landmark is Takachiho Gorge.
While there is a parking lot, the gorge is only a 20-minute walk away from Takachiho Shrine, making a leisurely stroll there a very nice option.
The promenade at the gorge will take you around to spots related to various strange legends, such as Onokoro Island, Nanatsuga Pond, and Kihachi-no-Chikaraishi.
The Manai Falls, which falls from a 17-meter height down into the gorge, is a spectacular sight to behold.
Following Tenson Korin (god’s descent to earth), there had been no water in the area. So Amenomurakumo-no-Mikoto moved water into the area, creating what is now called Amenomanai—the spring that eventually became this waterfall.
★Click here for directions to Takachiho Gorge!
Solest Takachiho Hotel allows easy access to various tourist spots
Check into your hotel a little early. The hotel in question is Solest Takachiho Hotel, which offers easy access to various tourist spots.
The hotel is a five-minute walk away from Takachiho Shrine. The hotel rents out zabuton (Japanese floor cushions) that you can use when watching the yokagura (ancient Shinto music/dancing performance). We encourage you to ask about it at check-in.
There are four types of guest rooms. The hotel is great not just for those traveling with family or friends, but also for solo travelers.
It offers plenty of amenities so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying yourself.
For a slightly more luxurious trip, you can try booking a Special Room, which comes with a large bath overlooking a private garden.
★Click here for directions to Solest Takachiho Hotel!
Explore the streets of Takachiho, with its series of stylish retro stores
The street in front of the hotel is lined with stylish retro stores.
One of the more eye-catching ones is Cafe Terrace Takachihoya with its komainu (guardian dog statues). The cafe interior is decorated with lanterns and garden trees, allowing guests to enjoy the cafe atmosphere in an almost shrine-like setting.
The cafe also does takeout, making it great for getting food on the go as well, especially if you want to explore more of the town.
★Click here for directions to Cafe Terrace Takachihoya!
As it gets dark, the lights along the street light up, creating a magical atmosphere.
We recommend a walk in the evening as well.
Yokagura, performance built on 800 years of history
End the day with a Takachiho yokagura performance.
Yokagura was originally a ritual in which local deities were invited to private homes or community centers (called “kagura-yado”), with locals dedicating 33 kagura plays to these gods over the course of the night. This ritual is held in 20 villages within the town every year, during the months of November until February.
The yokagura performance at Kagura Hall at Takachiho Shrine means that visitors can enjoy a portion of this ritual year-round. While you can buy same-day tickets, it is better to make a reservation in advance.
★Click here for directions to Takachiho Shrine!
A must-see scenery, the sea of clouds at Kunimigaoka
The sea of clouds at Kunimigaoka is a must-see, bucket-list level of scenery.
The clouds forms on cold, clear, windless mornings from the fall to early winter and sinks into the Takachiho basin and mountains, creating an incredibly magical scene.
Of course, this very particular set of requirements means that the sea of clouds is not always there for visitors to see. But even when the scenery isn’t bucket-list beautiful, the sunrise as seen from Kunimigaoka is sure to make you feel nice and refreshed.
★Click here for directions to Kunimigaoka!
Walk the lands from the Amano-Iwato legends: Amano-Iwato Shrine and Ama-no-Yasukawara
Two places you definitely want to visit when you come to Takachiho are Amano-Iwato Shrine and Ama-no-Yasukawara.
Explore Amano-Iwato Shrine, dedicated to the Amano-Iwato Cave, the hiding place of Amaterasu-Omikami, as well as the lands surrounding it, which were described in the Amano-Iwato legends.
From Amano-Iwato Shrine take a 10-minute walk along the riverbed to Ama-no-Yasukawara.
Ama-no-Yasukawara is where all ancient gods are said to have gathered for a meeting when Amaterasu-Omikami hid herself away in the Amano-Iwato Cave. Walking into the area feels like walking into a different world, from the shrine that sits quietly within a large cave, to the stacks of rocks piled up by visitors making various wishes.
★Click here for directions to Amano-Iwato Shrine!
“Slow cafe” that soothes both the body and soul, Kaze-no-Michi
Your next stop will be Farmer’s Cafe Kaze-no-Michi. It is located at about a 15-minute drive from Amano-Iwato Shrine, through the mountain path and at the end of Kami-Iwato Ohashi Bridge.
The cafe, which is owned by a farmer, offers comforting dishes made with homemade, locally-produced ingredients. We recommend their pizza, which is made with homemade tomato sauce, seasonal vegetables and Takachiho beef.
Taking in the scenery from the window, relaxing while gazing out at the terraced rice fields, is the ultimate luxury,
★Click here for directions to Farmer’s Cafe Kaze-no-Michi!
Local specialty souvenirs for your friends or as a treat for yourself♡
If you are looking for souvenirs, we recommend Michi-no-Eki Takachiho and Kihachi-no-Kura in Gamadase Market, both of which sell local Takachiho specialty products.
Take your pick—from individually-packaged souvenirs that are great for handing out at work, to more specialized souvenirs for your friends, to a little taste of Takachiho cuisine as a treat for yourself.
Imagine the expression on your friends’ and colleagues’ faces as you give them these souvenirs, and savor your trip to Takachiho until the end.
★Click here for directions to Michi-no-Eki Takachiho!
★Click here for directions to Kihachi-no-Kura in Gamadase Market!
So, what did you think about this two-day one night full experience of Takachiho?
This trip is packed with extraordinary sceneries, delicious foods and exquisite culture. The first day consists mainly of walking through the central area of Takachiho. The second day involves a bit more travel, but features various must-see locations.
Remember that there are still lots of spots we haven’t been able to cover! We encourage you to come visit, especially as the scenery changes with the seasons.