Sanmachi Suji (Takayama Old Town) - Gifu

Located in the City of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture, Sanmachi Suji is a historic district where one can experience the atmosphere and life in Takayama during the Edo Period. 

Sanmachi Suji District - Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture
Sanmachi Suji District 

Sanmachi Suji / Takayama Old Town History

Also called Takayama Old Town, Sanmachi Suji district has been designated as a Nationally Designated Important Historical Building Preservation Area. This means that all the structures in the district are traditional buildings, some of which are actually 400 years old. Presently, many of these traditional structures serve as merchant houses and shops where one can buy a plethora of unique local products while some of the old houses serve as restaurants, galleries, and museums. These are all found in the district's three streets namely Ichi-no-machi, Ni-no-machi, and San-machi

Let's cross the Nakabashi Bridge

Gotta check out Takayama's tourist map first

Let's try out Takayama's rickshaw

AKA Ebisutaigumi Preservation Area

Apparently, this place is a no-smoking area

Aside from shops, restaurants, and galleries, there are also several traditional sake breweries in the Sanmachi Suji district that are worth visiting. One can easily recognize these breweries because of the sakadaru or sake barrels displayed outside the shop. You'd also sometimes see a sugidama or special ball made of cedar branches that hang over its entrance. 

Sanmachi Suji
Visit the district early in the morning to avoid the crowd

Inside a sake brewery

I spy a Sarubobo doll inside one of the stores in Sanmachi Suji

Gotta love the interior of the stores here.

Some products worth buying

The Sugidama cedar ball hanging in front of the store tells visitors that this store is a sake brewery

Photo perfect window displays perfect for those Instagram photos

I got to visit the Sanmachi Suji district with my family and our Japanese godparents during our 16th day in Japan. We were lucky to have been able to visit it very early in the morning as there were almost no tourists around. Aside from that, many of the shops were just opening hence the shop owners and vendors were very eager to promote their merchandise whenever we enter their stores. During our stroll, we managed to try out some local delicacies. We did not miss trying out on Takayama's sake and of course, we bought some souvenir items to bring home too. 

Here are some photos from our visit:

Ella checking out the giant sake bottle displays

Food tripping with my wife.

Mr. Toshi buying some souvenirs

Mr. Toshi telling us what are the perfect souvenirs to bring home. 

Ice cream break

Overall, the Sanmachi Suji district is a perfect place to visit if you are fond of history and culture. You would surely appreciate the well-preserved houses and clean streets of this place. Aside from that, you'd enjoy shopping for food and souvenirs here as well. Just a little heads up though, the best time to visit Sanmachi Suji is during the afternoon when the sun starts to set as the crowd starts to thin and the sun's dimming light gives off a more dramatic effect on the old buildings. If you want the place "all for yourself", then visit it around 4 or 5AM like what I did during our visit. 

Sanmachi Suji Admission Fee:

It's FREE to explore Takayama's Sanmachi Suji / Takayama Old Town. However, bring some money just in case you want to buy awesome souvenirs or try out some sake in some of its breweries. 

Why visit Sanmachi Suji?

For visitors looking for a place to experience shopping and dining the "Edo Era Way", then Sanmachi Suji is a place to visit. Aside from that, there are also plenty of stores that sell souvenirs and food that are worth checking out. When in Sanmachi Suji, don't miss visiting the sake breweries and of course tasting what sake from Takayama tastes like. 

Getting to Sanmachi Suji:

Sanmachi Suji District is just a fifteen-minute walk away from Takayama Station.

Overall rating


  1. Beautiful place! Great photos! A lot of places in Japan are very clean.

    1. Actually Japan is a very clean country. You should come visit.

  2. Japan is one of the place I would love to have a visit.Reading your stories made me wanna go real soon.

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth for your kind words. I do hope you get to visit Japan soon. =)

  3. Wow this looks like a great bucket list place to visit!

    1. That's true. You should include Takayama's Sanmachi Suji to your bucket list.

  4. Sanmachi Suji Looks like a very peaceful town to visit. I actually have never been there despite visiting Japan for a few times already. would love to check it out in the future

    1. Wow! Really? I envy you for having visited Japan a few times. I do hope you visit Takayama's Sanmachi Suji someday.

  5. Replies
    1. We really enjoyed our adventure Sanjota. I hope you visit this place as well.

  6. I might have also mentioned this on a previous post - my friend is traveling there in June, she will find your posts very handy. thanks

    1. That sounds great. I hope your friend gets to visit this place.

  7. Will love to viusv Japan someday, so this is very useful.tganks for sharing.

  8. What a fun place! It looks so friendly and the food looks divine!

  9. Really loved reading about this place in JAPAN, wonderful description and photographs are very nice.II love to visit those places where I can have a glimpse of both history and culture.

    1. Thanks for checking out my article Ishani Nath. =)

  10. I really enjoyed reading your article about Sanmachi Suji. Nice pics.


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