TANIYA: A historically protected Machiya stay in the alpine town of Takayama, Japan

by | 3 07 2023 | Hotels, Slow travel, Travel

Machiyas are Japan’s traditional wooden townhouses which are an integral part of Japanese culture and life, usually built with many traditional carpentry techniques.

Taniya Takayama is an over 100-year-old, newly renovated luxury Machiya in the alpine town of Takayama, Gifu. The luxury villa is an important cultural asset building in the history of the city of Hida Takayama, adjacent to the Kusakabe Family Residence, which is designated as an Important Cultural Property. The magnificent building, protected to this day, was built in 1879. The Kusakabe family were successful Takayama merchants who thrived in the late Edo and early Meiji periods. They prospered as wealthy merchants in this area since the end of the 17th century and played an essential role in the town’s development. Members of the family still run the famous Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum next door which is an important cultural property and highlight in Takayama.

 Once a traditional Machiya is torn down, it is not allowed to be rebuilt via the same traditional construction and carpentry techniques, which is what makes these architectures so rare. At Taniya, Hida craftsmanship is scattered everywhere, while maintaining the shape of a townhouse architecture that can be said to be one of the original landscapes of Japan. Each one is the work of craftsmen who live here and take pride in their work. Just as the Kusakabe Residence is the culmination of the craftsmanship of ancient craftsmen, Taniya has also become a new, nostalgic, and creative space thanks to the wonderful work of modern craftsmen. On arrival, fresh Matcha tea is prepared on the traditional tatami floors in the tea-ceremony room. The Doma, an earthen-floor room, is the center of living at Taniya. Luxurious use Hida wood is used for the furnishings. Such as the exquisite cypress bath that faces the courtyard filled with natural light, facing the large sliding-glass window which can widely open towards the private Japanese garden, creating an inside-outside bathing experience. Taniya has two bedrooms (1x Western-style, 1x futon beds), a fully working kitchen, a living area, a tea ceremony room, a luxurious bathroom, and a small, well-kept Japanese garden.

taniya takayama
The Breakdown

Location: Located in the historical city of Hida Takayama, 1 min from Miyagawa Morning Market, close to everything you need, yet still in a pleasantly quieter area of town.

Rooms: A private traditional villa, with a full working kitchen, living area, two bedrooms, and a small but beautiful Japanese garden. 

Rates: From 800€, sleeps up to 5 people with a mix of western-style and futon beds, rate excludes breakfast

Highlights: When staying at Taniya, you can freely enter and exit the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum next door, which is an important cultural property and highlight in Takayama. There is even a hidden door connecting the Taniya courtyard to the museum after opening hours.  

The feel: Luxurious, traditional townhouse with modern features. An impeccable eye for detail integrating lots of local craftmanship and the rich history of the place.

Not to be missed: The lovely Taniya team offers various services, from breakfast delivered in the morning, to private chef experiences and tailor-made authentic local excursions to experience the unique culture preserved here, such as the world of wood crafts first hand. Many of these excursions are exclusively available to TANIYA guests.

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