Takamori is a fairly recent town, as it
has been created in 1957. The previous villages of Ichida and Yamabuki merged,
and because the highest mountain in town is Hontakamori Mountain, the name
« Takamori » was chosen. At this time, Takamori comprised around
11000 people, and there are now over 13000 people living here.
Now let’s go back in time a little bit.
(scroll to read ...)
In the 8th century, the capital city of Japan was Kyoto, and old roads going
through central Japan linked Kyoto to Tokyo (still named Edo at this time).
You might have heard of Tokaido, which is the most famous of these roads. Another
one of these was Tousando and it went right through Takamori. Almost all traces
of this road are now gone, but there is still a Kofun (an old tomb) from this
era standing in Takamori, in which the oldest coin in Japan made from a mold
was found. This coin is still in Takamori’s local folklore museum.
In the 16th century, the capital moved from Kyoto to Edo, and new roads going
from Edo to Kyoto were created. One of these is Nakasendo, and is on the other
side of Hontakamori mountain, in the Kiso area. To this day, old post towns such
as Tsumago-juku and Magome-juku are being preserved, and going there feels like
stepping right into ancient Japan.
Takamori is surrounded by mountains, with the Kiso mountains on one side and
the Southern Japanese Alps on the other. The Tenryu river flows at the bottow
of the town.
The town’s logo (below, center) is the hiragana symbol for « ta » (た), in a
circular shape that represents peace and harmony. The arrow on top symbolises
Takamori’s will to keep going strong.
The town’s mascot, Kakimaru-kun (below, left) is, besides being adorable, a personified
persimmon. Indeed, dried persimmon (Ichidagaki) is the specialty of Takamori. If you come
by in November, you can see persimmons hanging all over the town to dry.
Fun fact: this area has the highest ratio of Yakiniku (japanese BBQ) restaurants
per inhabitants in Japan
What's in Takamori
Here is a non-ehxaustive map of places, festivals, temples, shrines,
seasonal activities, restaurants and more to do and see in Takamori.