Hida Furukawa is a charming town located in Gifu, japan. Situated downriver from Takayama, it offers a more peaceful and serene atmosphere compared to its more famous neighbor. The town is known for its wonderful wood architecture, sake breweries, and fresh produce stalls. With its beautifully restored buildings, Hida Furukawa is a delightful destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in traditional Japanese culture.
One of the highlights of Hida Furukawa is its old town, which resembles a sibling to Takayama. However, Hida Furukawa exudes a more relaxed and tranquil ambiance. Visitors can take leisurely walks through the town, admiring the stone-walled temple grounds and white-walled storehouses. The streets are lined with channels where carp swim, adding to the picturesque scenery. Particularly during spring and autumn, the bright white walls of the warehouses on the riverbanks stand out against the backdrop of cherry blossoms or fiery fall leaves.
The town also hosts several festivals throughout the year, showcasing its rich cultural heritage. One of the most notable events is the Spring Festival, which takes place on April 19 and 20, a week after Takayama’s Spring Festival. On the first day, a drum festival is held, featuring performances by scantily clad men playing enormous taiko drums. The second day is marked by a grand parade of large, highly decorated floats that traverse the streets of Hida Furukawa. These floats can be seen throughout the year at the Hida Furukawa Festival Hall.
In addition to the Spring Festival, Hida Furukawa is also known for its Three-Temple Pilgrimage, which takes place on January 15. During this festival, more than 1,000 candles are set up along the riverbanks, creating a mesmerizing spectacle against the snowy landscape. Participants visit Enkoji, Honkoji, and Shinshuji temples to pray for a prosperous year ahead and positive romantic developments.
One of the main attractions in Hida Furukawa is its timber and local carpenters. The town is renowned for its traditional woodworking techniques, which have been passed down through generations. Visitors can witness the craftsmanship firsthand by exploring the various carpentry workshops and observing the artisans at work. The timber used in these buildings is sourced locally, further highlighting the town’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage.
Another aspect that sets Hida Furukawa apart is its sake breweries. The town is home to several breweries that produce high-quality sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. Visitors have the opportunity to tour these breweries and learn about the sake-making process. They can also indulge in sake tastings, allowing them to appreciate the unique flavors and aromas of this beloved beverage.
For food enthusiasts, Hida Furukawa offers an array of culinary delights. The town boasts stalls with fresh produce, where visitors can sample seasonal fruits and vegetables. Local specialties such as Hida beef, a type of Wagyu beef known for its marbling and tenderness, can also be found in Hida Furukawa. Restaurants in the town serve dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, providing an authentic and unforgettable dining experience.
Getting to Hida Furukawa is relatively easy, as it is accessible by train from Takayama City. From Takayama Station, visitors can take the Takayama Line to Hida Furukawa Station, with the journey taking approximately 15 minutes. This convenient transportation option allows travelers to easily explore both Takayama and Hida Furukawa during their visit to the region.
In conclusion, Hida Furukawa is a hidden gem in Gifu, Japan, offering a unique blend of sake, wonderful wood architecture, and atmospheric charm. With its beautifully restored buildings, picturesque streets, and cultural festivals, the town provides a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture. Whether it’s strolling through the old town, attending the Spring Festival, or exploring the local carpentry workshops, Hida Furukawa promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the rich history and heritage of Japan.
Address And Maps Location:
Furukawa-cho, Hida-shi, Gifu-ken