Takayama, located in the heart of the Japan Alps, was once an enclave of skilled carpenters, employed by emperors to build palaces and temples in Kyoto and Nara earning it the nickname of “Little Kyoto.” Today, this quaint and tranquil town has held on to its old-fashioned traditions and character. Because of its lively farmers markets, museums, shopping, and sake breweries, Takayama is a town that invites exploration. There are several streets in Takayama lined with former merchant homes that date back to the 16th century.