This restaurant is famous for its vegetarian shojin (temple food), which it serves up in a 200-year-old building south of the Higashiyama temple area. Specialties include sansai ryori, light dishes of mountain vegetables soaked in a rich miso paste and served atop a roasted magnolia leaf called hoba-miso. Set menus change with the seasons but can include salt-grilled river fish, crispy tempura, handmade soba noodles, or tofu chilled in ice-cold Takayama water. The owner, Sumitake-san, can translate for you while her English-speaking mother tells you all about Takayama history. From Miya-gawa, head east on the Sanmachi-dori, crossing four side streets (including the one running along the river). Walk up the hill, and take a left at the top. There is no English sign out front, but a white noren (hanging cloth) hangs in the entrance way of this Edo-era house. You need to book in advance and might want to dress up a bit. Ask for a private tatami room overlooking the garden.
2 Babacho-dori, Takayama, Gifu-ken, 506-0838, Japan