This private taxi tour from Takayama will take you to Kamioka for the exciting Gattan-Go rail biking attraction and Kamioka Lab, which has ties to the Nobel Prize-winning Kamioka Observatory. Then, at Hida-Furukawa, you'll learn about the significance of medicinal herbs to the area.
The northern part of Gifu prefecture is known as the Hida region, as it was called 'Hida Province' in feudal Japan. Surrounded by mountains, rivers, and forests, this area is blessed not only with scenic nature, but also with rich cultural traditions of its own. To this day, the area has several well-preserved traditional townscapes, such as the Sanmachi Suji district in Takayama City, one of Hida's most popular places to visit. On this private taxi tour that conveniently includes round-trip transfer to and from Takayama, you'll take a deeper look into Hida's local attractions and cultural heritage by visiting Kamioka and Hida-Furukawa, two towns in nearby Hida City. At Kamioka, you'll try Gattan-Go, a unique and exciting attraction that involves mountain biking along railway tracks. Locals came up with Gattan-Go as a way to breathe new life into the Kamioka Railway, which is no longer in operation. Electric mountain bikes are securely attached to railway tracks to make sure that they don't veer off-course, and the routes are fixed, so this is an adventurous but safe ride — all you need to do is pedal! Enjoy the scenery as you cycle a scenic route, passing through and by tunnels, mountains, rivers, and the town. The seasonal scenery — cherry blossoms in spring and colorful leaves in autumn — is simply breathtaking! After the Gattan-Go experience, you'll then visit Hida Space Science Museum, also known as Kamioka Lab. This museum is affiliated with the Kamioka Observatory, a leading research institute in the field of particle physics. This center is one of the world's leaders in research and experiments related to the neutrino, a mysterious elementary particle of which very little is currently known. Some of its researchers have won the Nobel Prize for Physics — most notably, the center's Super-Kamiokande neutrino detection observatory garnered the Nobel Physics Prize in 2015. Learn about the neutrino and discover the universe's mysteries at this interactive museum! Next up on the itinerary is Hida-Furukawa, a small town that's filled with traditional architecture everywhere you turn. Here, you'll get acquainted with the Hida area's culture of cultivating medicinal herbs — folk wisdom that has been passed down through generations. You'll have a delicious lunch at Busuitei Ohako, a quaint restaurant that specializes in dishes made with medicinal herbs, then try making your own herbal tea blends in a workshop at Hida Mori no Megumi. This hands-on workshop will teach you all there is to know about Japanese medicinal herbs: their uses and health benefits their difference from Chinese herbs, and more. Before returning to Takayama, you'll have free time to stroll around Hida-Furukawa. Don't forget to shop for souvenirs to take home — sake, 'kumihimo' braided-cord accessories, handmade traditional Japanese candles, and more!