A quality shopping experience in Takayama
Overview of Takayama and the Shopping street
The Hida Takayama region is located in the North of Gifu prefecture and lies between the regions Hokuriku and Tokai. You can get to the city easily from eigher Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya by JR express trains. From Tokyo and Osaka, take Shinkansen to Nagoya and transfer to the “Wide View Hida”, the Limited Express. The total time required is about 4h from Tokyo, 3h from Osaka and a little bit more than 2h from Nagoya. Also, there are bus services from these and also from smaller cities.
Just a few minute walk from Takayama station, and conveniently located near the Kajibashi Bridge in the city center is the Takayama Shopping Street “Honmachi Sanchome.” A multitude of shops and a variety of food can be purchased in this Shopping Street, providing a unique service for foreign tourists in Japan:
In 2016, Takayama Honcho Sanchome Shopping Street introduced a tax-exemption service. You can just buy your favorite products from 8 member stores, all offering a unique variety of high-quality Japanese products. If you purchase over 5,000 Yen (without tax) in total at the member stores, you can conveniently get a one-time tax exemption at the end of your shopping.
A great place to start the shopping tour is Imai-Bunbogu, a stationary store located at the entry of the Sanchome-Shopping street, just next to Kajibashi bridge. Over two floors the store offers a great variety of pens, notebooks, and many other products. Especially the “Travel-book” series is very popular among foreign tourists, and Japanese pens attract with their superb quality and functions. Last but not least, the store sells many postcards with beautiful sceneries of Takayama and surrounding areas.
Next, the Kosugi Butsudan store welcomes its visitors with a fulminant fragment, wooden scent when entering the store. “Butsudan” means Buddhist altar in Japanese, but the store sells much more than Buddhist altars: Not only can you buy all different kinds of incense and related products here, but also traditional Japanese dolls or cards.
In the toy store “Aladdin” every children and adults’ dream comes true: A store full with toys and games, this store offers something for everybody. If you are an Anime-fan, why don’t you get a Ghibli-puzzle or a Gandam figure? The store also has a charming selection of post-war Japanese toys, and a guarantee for fun and adrenaline is their huge 4WD Mini Racer (Mini Yonku) racing track.
Popular among foreign as well as Japanese tourists, and located just at the entrance of the Shopping Street, “Kajibashi Soba” offers local dishes. Their most popular dish is Takayama Chukasoba, a noodle-soup specialty from Takayama with an intense, round flavor. Also, make sure to try out their meat dishes such as regional Hida Beef on a rice plate. While Hida beef might not be known that well outside Japans, Japanese people rank it among the best in the country.
Another store to try delicious Hida beef is “Komori” inside the restaurant-complex “EaTown.” Especially if you go there for lunch, you can get a set meal for less than 1,000 yen with rice, salad, pickles and Hida beef (steak or sukiyaki).
Also located in EaTown is the sweets shop “Hiyoko An.” For only 400 Yen you can get a delicious Maccha together with a traditional Japanese sweet, some of which can only be found in this store. Inside EaTown you have free Wifi-access and an Information Center.
For every Sushi-fan, Sanchome Shopping Street offers a jewel ranked even among the Top 30 Sushi restaurants 2017 of famous travel site (worldwide) – Sushi Nob! For a very reasonable price (a good dinner for about 2,000 Yen p.P) you can eat unique Sushi variations that you will not forget soon, such as the Dragon-Roll with avocado, eel and shrimps. The store also offers delicious Sushi suited for vegetarian customers.
Procedure for tax-exemption
In order to get the tax exemption, you might first want to go to Nakada pharmacy located in the center of the Shopping Street. There you can get information about participating stores and a map indicating their location. When buying your products, the store will attach the receipts to an information brochure about the Shopping Street, and once you finished your shopping tour go back to Nakada pharmacy, where you will get your tack back in cash. Please make sure that you use the same passport and credit card for all purchases, and that the total value of products over 5,000 yen (without tax). Also, there is a distinction between the amounts of money spent for General goods and for Consumables, so it is recommended to read the information brochure before starting you shopping tour.
The tax-free Counter operates between 9:00 and 19:00h.
How to get there
The Takayama Sanchome Shopping Street can be accessed conveniently within 10 Minutes from JR Takayama station. Exit the station at the east exit and turn left until you get to the first big crossing after about 3 minutes (Takayama Station Kita; Takayama Station Hotel is located here). There you turn right and follow the street until you reach the crossing just in front of the river and Kajibashi bridge. The shopping street is located on the left side, starting with “Kajibashi Soba” and “Imai Bunbogu.”
Address of the Shopping Street: 3-55 Honmachi, Takayama-city, Gifu-prefecture.
PDF-Webpage of the Shopping Street (Japanese):
This website introduces the shops in EaTown (English version available)
The website of Sushi Nob (Japanese):
Imai Bunbogu and Imai PenShop (2F) (English, further information and pictures in Japanese):
Kosugi Butsudan (Japanese):
Kajibashi Soba: Not their official webpage, but with interesting information in English:
Nakada pharmacy (Japanese):