Nowadays Takayama is famous for its well preserved old town dating back to the Edo period. One doesn't visit Takayama seeking religious enlightenment, but rather a certain enlightenment related with design and architecture.
The old wooden houses hosting souvenir shops, restaurants and sake breweries are painfully charming, and walking along the little pedestrian streets is like stepping back in time. There is a wealth of detail related to the daily life and Japanese traditions to be discovered here. It's like the time stood still.
Some of the houses are even open to the public, exhibiting local crafts and arts, providing a window into understanding the lives of the local merchants. Also not to miss, not far from the town center, is the Hida Folk Museum.