Takayama is known as Hida’s Little Kyoto, and is home to many traditional Japanese crafts and buildings, making it a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international tourists.
Among them, Takayama-Jin’ya boasts a large number of visitors as a highlight of Takayama sightseeing.
However, even if you hear the name “Takayama-Jin’ya”, you might not be able to imagine what kind of building it is.
Let’s learn about Takayama-Jin’ya thoroughly so that we can enjoy it to the fullest when we finally visit!
How to get to Takayama-Jin’ya
Takayama-Jin’ya is located about a 10-minute walk from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Line.
On the way there is a beautiful street called Sanmachi Dori, which is designated as a Nationally Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings and whose old-fashioned scenery is still carefully preserved.
What’s Takayama-Jin’ya all about?
Takayama-Jin’ya is a very popular tourist destination, but I don’t think many people know what it is like when they hear its name. Until I took the National Examination for Licensed Guide Interpreters, I knew the name, but I had no idea what kind of building it was.
Takayama-Jin’ya is the administrative center of the territory under the direct control of the Shogunate.
You can imagine easily that there is a city hall in your city which is quite familiar to you, don’t you? Takayama-Jin’ya was something like a city hall.
This is the place where you go to get your resident card, apply for subsidies, and file complaints.
You can also think of it as a prefectural office, ward office, city hall, or a branch of the national office such as a legal affairs bureau or tax office.
The big difference between Takayama-Jin’ya and those public facilities is that Takayama-Jin’ya also included a police organization.
Another big difference is that Takayama-Jin’ya was directly under control of an highly authorized organization called “Tokugawa Bakufu (Shogunate)” in the country at that time.
Things to see in Takayama-Jin’ya
Now that we found out Takayama-Jin’ya was one of the national office in the old times, then let’s enjoy seeing the inside.
Entrance Way / Large Alcove
In fact, there were seven locations that corresponded to the entrances of Takayama-Jin’ya, and the entrances were determined by the status of the visitor. This entrance, located in front of the Takayama-Jin’ya, was only open to the magistrates and other high-ranking officials dispatched by the shogunate.
By the way, the difference in formality is evident not only in the entrance, but also in the edges of the tatami mats, so if you are interested, please take a closer look.
As modern people, we can normally enter through this entrance. The first thing you can see is the “Seigaiha pattern” on the large bed. As the name suggests, Seigaiha Wave imitates ocean waves. It is said that this pattern was very popular during the Edo period, and was painted with a prayer for continued prosperity and peace in the future.
The Great Hall was used for public meetings and annual events such as New Year’s Day.
This is a very large room that can be divided into three rooms using sliding doors. The view you can see from here may be familiar from historical dramas and historical dramas.
This room plays a central role in Takayama-Jin’ya. Here, lower-ranking samurai, who were subordinate to the magistrate, carried out many tasks related to local administration, such as tax collection, forest management, police, and court cases.
Law Court / Interrogation Room
Those rooms were used for interrogations in criminal cases, and the Gohakusu room was used to receive direct complaints in civil matters. It feels like what we would now call a city hall counter and a police interrogation room combined. It’s quite different from modern times.
This was used as a storehouse to store annual tax rice. This structure has remained the same for over 300 years since it was moved from Takayama Castle in 1695.
Living Room of Magistrates
This is the magistrate’s living space. For some reason, this is the only one that was restored in 1996. It’s a very prestigious room with a garden.
So far I have introduced Takayama-Jin’ya. how did you get impressed?
I assure that the more you may get the in-depth information about the structure, the more attractive the tour inside will be.
So please enjoy the tour. Bye for now!