The Green Hotel Takayama combines the functionality of an urban hotel with the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese inn, surrounding guests with the unique ambience of the old city of Hida Takayama.
Takayama is the heart of Japan’s ancient culture. The area around offers several types of programs for the visitors. As we arrived with the local train, we did not know exactly what to expect but we presumed to have a wonderful time there. We arrived in the evening at a calm and heart-catching place. Our emotional engagement started right on the main street as touching violin and piano music was played from the speakers above the sidewalk.
In the next days we visited some incredible old homes, checked out fine temples and shrines. If you visit at the right time you can marvel at the superb festival floats used in the Takayama Matsuri festival. A short distance from the city center, we have seen Hida no Sato, a collection of thatch-roof houses from central Japan. The first thing you cannot omit is to take part on a half-day tour going to the Unesco World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go. We reached this small village by a bus operated by a local tour provider with the best guide ever on-board! Shirakawa-go is not only interesting because we can see those houses in their original setting but because they are inhabited today as well. If this miracles would not be enough, the peaks of the Japan Alps are also nearby.
The location is almost in the heart of the charming small city of Takayama and it offers a perfect base for sightseeing in the area. We just could not take our eyes off the Japanese garden at the entrance of the hotel.
Traditional Japanese interior design tried to impress us – with success. Masks, lanterns, umbrellas, arts and crafts ensure the authentic atmosphere.
The lobby is not wide but the big windows offer nice view to the garden at daytime. It was interesting to see the wide variety of the furniture of the same style.
The handmade mid-size model of the golden carriage reminds us the yearly festival. The original versions of this model are centuries’ old, lavishly decorated floats used in the semi-annual Takayama Festival parade. 100000 fortunate people who visit Takayama during the Spring and Autumn festivals are able to see them each year along the parade route free-of-charge. But be prepared for the doubled and tripled hotel room prices!
As always, right after our arrival we went to the bath which is called onsen in Japan. The monumental wood statue forced our hand to take a photo. We have never seen any similar before.
Bathing in the onsens are allowed traditionally only without swimsuit so photos cannot be taken. We asked the staff to let us stay after closing time and let us go in before opening time. Every picture about such a pool have a great value and we are grateful for the official media kit of the property as well.
There are shower spots in the background on the left hand side. We had to have a shower and make ourselves perfectly clean before sitting in the hot water. The cleanliness is fantastic here and at the other good quality onsens, too.
The outside bath with the small rocks gives the feeling of being in the nature far away from every civilization, especially as we closed our eyes just to enjoy the hot water around us.
The wooden floor makes it possible to have a so-called footbath which means you are sitting around the pool and let your foots floating in the water. It’s a really frenetic experience, try if you have the possibility!
After our session we took a look around and saw a place to relax with huge real wood tables. Finally we decided to go to the restaurant instead of sitting down here because we were quite hungry.
The entrance of the restaurant represents honestly that the hotel offers a wide variety of gourmet dining experiences above the luxurious natural hot spring bath.
We think that it is enough to say about the food that Japanese people have the longest expected life span. Now we can understand, why.
The room is very comfortable and we were grateful for the real beds after trying several futon beds some days ago. The bathroom is very interesting. It has a glass wall in the direction of the room and a spectacular view to the hills around in the same time.
If you ever happened to be in Japan, do not forget to visit this place, Takayama is an absolute top highlight in the land of the rising sun!