It was one of those trips where you cannot decide whether to go or not until the last moment. I love Japan, (as it is quite obvious when you check out my site) and I particularly love Kyoto and Hokkaido. In every trip to Japan, it is always a challenge for me to talk myself out of spending my entire time in Kyoto and Hokkaido. During my latest trip in January 2016, I still included Hokkaido and Kyoto in my itinerary but could finally convince myself to also visit the Japanese Alps. I picked Takayama as I have always heard of its beautiful historic district and it was very close to Shirakawa-go – the tiny village home to gassho style houses, which look very beautiful in winter when wholly covered by snow. I am glad to have seen a new destination in Japan and had a chance to have a very scenic train and then a bus ride through the Japanese Alps. However, the highlight of my stay was neither Takayama itself or even the illumination event I had the great fortune of experiencing in Shirakawa-go. The highlight of my trip was my stay in Pension Hida No Mori located right outside of Takayama. I seriously considered extending my stay in this beautiful hotel and enjoy my days looking out of their big windows to watch the snow and hang out by their fire place.
While deciding for my accommodation in Takayama, one of the reviews I came across said that if you are already checking out Pension Hida No Mori, look no further and resume your search right there. I can only conquer with this statement. It is from one of those places which is more than just providing you with a mere sleeping place but it is an experience on its own. The hotel is run by a couple and one of them is a chef specialised in Italian cuisine. You can just let them know that you will have your dinner at the hotel and they will have it ready by the time you get back to the hotel in the eventing. It felt so nice to come back to the hotel after a snowy and cold day in Takayama and Shirakawa and have my delicious food right by the fire place.
Free transfer to town
The hotel has very simple and clean rooms. There are shared bathrooms but those are kept extremely clean. You will need to leave your shoes and switch to slippers before stepping inside the hotel. The hotel is located in about ten minutes driving distance from Takayama but don’t worry, the owners offer free shuttle during day and night if you do not have your own car (as it was the case for me). They also both speak very good English and are more than happy to answer your questions about the area. Pension Hida No Mori has created another point of obsession for me in Japan after my favourite hotel – Hotel Anteroom in Kyoto.