Takahashi, often referred to as Bitchu-Takahashi after the surrounding region to distinguish it from other places with the same name, is a small city in the mountainous interior of Okayama Prefecture.
Takahashi is best known for Matsuyama Castle, which sits high up on the mountain above town and is the only original mountaintop castle and the oldest surviving castle in Japan.
At the base of the mountain lies Takahashi’s preserved old town, which is home to samurai residences and merchant houses that date back to the Edo Period.
A few museums and temples are also scattered about Takahashi, including Raikyuji Temple whose Zen garden was designed by the local lord and famous garden designer Kobori Enshu.
Takahashi Old Town
Takahashi developed at the base of Matsuyama Castle into a thriving castle town of samurai, merchants and craftsmen.
Some of the historic streets close to the castle have been preserved, and a few samurai and merchant houses have been restored and opened to the public.
There are also temples and a few museums around town that display the local history and culture.
Note that a convenient, discounted combination ticket is available that provides tourists with admission to the castle, Raikyuji Temple, the two samurai residences and the Takahashi Historical Museum at a discounted price of only: 900 yen.
The sights around Takahashi’s old town are easily explored on foot and lie within a few minutes walk of each other and within a 10-15 minute walk from Bitchu-Takahashi Station.
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