I am going to be spending a good part of my year in the city of Takayama. The name translates to "Tall Mountain" and has a population of about 95,000. It is located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture.
Of particular interest, Takayama is best known for its inhabitants' expertise in carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and on many of the temples in Kyoto and Nara. Perfect!
Takayama is also famous for its festivals, including the Spring Festival and Autumn Festival. They are considered to rank among the three most beautiful festivals in Japan.