This large section of Takayama consists of well-preserved houses and businesses, some dating back to the Edo Period hundreds of years ago. Takayama's heyday as a merchant town is evident in the many elegant buildings that were former merchant homes and businesses. Today, some of these businesses continue to exist, including sake breweries, which produces one of Takayama's famous local products. Strolling the pictureque streets affords visitors the opportunity to explore the many shops that sell handmade arts and crafts, representing the finest of Hida woodworking and lacquerware craftsmanship.
Twice a year, in April and October, the area hosts Takayama Matsuri, considered one of Japan's three most beautiful festivals. Huge, beautifully decorated floats called yatai are paraded down the streets during the festival, but if you miss out, you can still see some of the floats on display in the Takayama Matsuri Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, located within the tranquil grounds of Sakura Hachimangu Shrine.