We had been cycling for almost an hour from Takayama City when I realized something was wrong! The hostel where we stayed at said it only took about 15-20 minutes to bike there, so obviously we must have taken a wrong turn somewhere!
I jumped off my bike next to a couple of girls waiting for the bus by the road to ask them for directions. They didn`t know any English, but I tried to hand signal “Teddy bear“, you know cuddling an imaginary teddy bear, feeling a bit stupid in front of these strange girls. Luckily they immediately understood what I meant so I didn`t have to humiliate myself too much. All three of us giggled, and they pointed us in the right direction. It turned out we have already cycled passed it!
After some more cycling, we finally saw it, the big Teddy Bear sign with an old yellowish teddy bear looking back at us with big sad brown eyes. And then we spotted the 180 years old Gassho-zukuri house which has been renovated and now houses the museum The Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Museum (also known as the Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village).
We had finally come to the right place – Teddy Bear heaven!!! 🙂
The Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Museum/ Eco Village
The International Teddy Bear Museum is the cutest museum we have ever been to! Can you imagine stepping into a house packed with thousands of fluffy cute teddy bears from all over the world?!?! Nope, me neither, that`s why we had to check it out while we were in Takayama.
And the museum did not disappoint a teddy bear lover like me! 🙂
The museum houses over 1000 little fluffy guys in all sizes and colors from all over the world.
Many of teddy bears are on display in different settings and themes.
Here Are Some of Our Cute Teddy Bear Pictures
Fire Men Teddies
These are used for educational purpose to teach kids not to play with matches.
ECO/ Environmental Teddies
The museum also features an ECO display with teddy bears in different environmental settings/ themes, that`s why the museum is also called Teddy Bear Eco Village. The idea is probably to teach kids about environmental issues and to not litter.
Some of the teddy bears even move so they look almost alive. They are all incredibly cute and I just wanted to pick up each one of them and give them a big hug!
The museum also has some really old teddy bears, that they call “Treasure bears”.
The most famous of these is Franz, an Austrian one that is more than 100 years old! He used to live in a castle and looks like he has really been loved by the kids he belonged to, cause his fur is worn off in some places. Now he looks a bit sad and alone in the glass display.
I just wanted to cuddle him and take him with me! 🙂
Another old teddy bear at the museum is the one below. He is the first teddy bear in the world with glass eyes and was made just after 1945.
Another “Treasure Bear” is the Polar Bear which was made in 1909. At that time, it was the biggest white Teddy Bear in the world. In 1911 it was named Polar Bear and known as the bear on the Titanic.
Some More Cute Teddy Bears Overload
Little Bear Cafe and Shop
Next to the actual museum, is a very nice and cozy cafe as well as a shop filled with teddy bears and accessories where you can buy souvenirs, teddy bear pictures, postcards and gifts to bring back home.
The cafe focuses on healthy food and drinks, and you can choose to sit outside or inside. We had a stop at the cafe for some delicious wraps and healthy smoothies before we cycled back to Takayama. This time the bicycle ride only took 15 minutes.
This Teddy Bear Museum is a bit off the beaten track when it comes to visiting Takayama. Most people that visit Takayama see the old town, morning market, and Shirakawa-go Village. But if you have the time and want to explore more of Takayama, then going to the Teddy Bear Museum is perfect. Nearby the Museum are some other tourist attractions like the Hida Folk Village Museum which we also visited after the Teddy Bear Museum.
I really enjoyed visiting the Teddy Bear Museum! It was like stepping back in time, and walking around the small fluffy guys brought back good childhood memories and made me almost feel like a kid again. ♥
- Read more about the Teddy Bear Museum at their webpage
- You can buy lots and lots of cute teddy bears here
How Much Does Visiting The Teddy Bear Museum Cost?
- Adults: 600 JPY = 6 us$
- High School students: 500 JPY
- Elementary and Junior High School students: 400 JPY
- Free for smaller children! 🙂
- Tip: Visit the Takayama Tourist Centre right in front of the Takayama Train Station to get a coupon with 100 JPY discount off admission tickets.
How To Get To The Teddy Bear Museum?
- Walk/ bicycle: You can walk or rent a bike in Takaya and bicycle as we did. It takes about 20 minutes.
- Bus: Take the Sarubobo Bus from the Takayama Bus Terminal (right next to the Takayama Train Station). Get off the bus at the Hida no Sato bus stop. The Teddy Bear Museum is just right across it.
- Tip: The bus costs 200 JPY per ticket. If you know that you will take a lot of buses that day, you can buy a day pass for 600 JPY. You can also buy a package-ticket for 900 JPY which includes a bus day pass and entrance to the Hida Folk Village.
Where To Stay In Takayama
We stayed at Yamakuy Ryokan, and loved it! It is such a nice old Japanese guest house and compared with almost all other Ryokans in Japan actually pretty reasonably priced.
It was the cheapest Ryokan that we could find in Japan. We paid approximately 150 USD for two people, which included a very nice traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast. This Ryokan also has its own private onsen which we could use for free.
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⇒ Read our post about our stay at Yamakyu Ryokan
We spent two nights at K’s House – one of the best guesthouses we have ever stayed at! It is nice, clean and cozy, with excellent service and hospitality from the staff. We had a private room with a private bathroom and paid 75 USD per night for two people. They also have 4-bed dorm rooms for about 25 USD.
It has the perfect location, right in the middle of downtown Takayama so you can walk to all the main sights and museums of Takayama.
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We used Lonely Planet`s Japan Travel Guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below which will take you to Amazon.com (affiliate links):
Have you visited a Teddy Bear Museum? Or any other cute museums around the world? Please leave a comment in the comment area below. If you liked this article and found it useful, please share on social media! Thank you!! 🙂