Takayama, meaning "high mountain," sits on the western slopes of the Japanese Alps. The town is known for its woodcrafts and carpenters, the area being rich in timber. It is said that in the 8th century, the town didn't have enough rice to send for its taxes and instead sent its skilled carpenters as payment. From 1692 to 1868 the town was under direct shogunate control as a source of timber. Due to its isolated location, Takayama was able to preserve most of its Edo-period streets lined with shops, museums, and restaurants in the SanmachiSuji district. The water here is pure which is ideal for sake brewing. The Takayama Festival in April and October is famous throughout Japan with its ornate floats and antique karakuri machines. The Hida Folk Village is also an excellent stop to experience life for much of rural Japan. Old farmhouses and building were taken apart and rebuilt on the grounds to give a sense of their original settings.
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