Hida Takayama is the west neighboring city of Matsumoto and popular sightseeing place for foreigners.
There are many traditional private houses in Takayama. Throngs of people in the street near the houses sell lovely items like a bag made with kimono cloth.
In Jinja-mae Morning Markets, you can see unique handmade dolls called sarubobo, 100% apple juice, ornaments made with many red peppers, etc.
You can visit the Takayama Festival Exhibition Hall by about 20-30 minute walk from the traditional private houses. The floats at the Takayama Festival Exhibition Hall are used twice a year to celebrate Takayama Festival. One of the festivals for the Takayama Festival in spring which is the cherry blossom season. The other time is in autumn which is fall foliage season. There are 23 carriages called yatai decorated for Takayama Festival. The streets are lined with the carriages and the carriages parade the streets in the festival. The Hall exhibits four carriages in rotation because they would like to show the carriages all year 'round.
Takayama is well-known for good beef. Croquettes which have some beef inside are also popular.
Access: There are six buses from Matsumoto to Takayama every day. It took two hours and twenty minutes through mountain roads.
If you visit also Shirakawa-go, Kamikochi, Norikura and/or Shirahone Hot Springs, 4-Day Free Pass might be cheap and convenient.
If you are a JR East Pass holder, you can buy a special round trip discount ticket (adult: 2,500 yen) and it is cheaper than a normal one-way price (adult: 3,190 yen)! You can even stop over at Hirayu or Sawando and go to Kamikochi or Norikura.