Takayama has some local specialties you should try while you're here (they may well be served at your ryokan or minshuku). The best known is hoba miso, which is soybean paste mixed with dried scallions, ginger, and mushrooms and cooked on a dry magnolia leaf at your table above a small clay burner. Sansai are mountain vegetables, including edible ferns and other wild plants; and ayu is river fish, grilled with soy sauce or salt. Other favorite dishes include Takayama's own style of soba (buckwheat noodles), mitarashi-dango (grilled rice balls with soy sauce), and Hida beef.

In addition to the listings, stop by Fujiya Hanaikada, 46 Hanakawa-cho (tel. 0577/36-0339), a 4-minute walk straight ahead from the station, on a corner to the left. Open Friday to Wednesday from 10am to 6pm, it serves traditional Japanese homemade sweets along with tea and coffee, but what makes this place memorable is its award-winning locally made cypress furniture.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.