I went to Takayama in the Hida Region of Toyama, Central Honshu, recently. Its a lovely little town, and surprisingly, even though it was snowing, and tons of snow laid on the ground, I never felt that cold.

In Takayama, the main attraction is of course the up and coming Takayama Matsuri (March 14-15 I believe...?). The floats are stunning, and the puppetry good! Wished I was there at festival time for the atmosphere.....
I also went to Furukawa on my short break to Takayama - only half and hour by bus, and their museum on their very own "naked festival"... The 3D movie of the event has to be the only real reason to visit Furukawa... For me, Furukawa and just a little too quiet... DEAD.

I had my very first Okonomiyaki there,... Its Takayama's fault that I am now addicted ;) I ate Cheese and Mochi Okonomiyaki, and I have to say, its the best Ive tasted so far. Its fun, its tasty, and anything is allowed - POUR that mayonnaise on!! ;)
Its a weekend thing from Tokyo, the cheapest and easiest way to get there is by KEIO highway bus from Nishi Shinjuku, costing around 11,700 yen return, taking 5 and a half hours. On the journey home, if you get the 1:30 bus, you will pass Mt. Fuji just as the sun is setting... Beautiful!! Of course, the timing depends of the season you go in....!!

Id recommend a trip there - Takayama sure knows how to do nature - in winter with snow everywhere is a really pretty place, but in spring, with cherry blossoms in the mountains... wow!

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