“The townscape of Furukawa has admirable elegance and dignity. As it is not touristy, the unvarnished behavior, facial expressions and personality of the people can be felt here”. In his book, “Kaido Wo Yuku” (Walking Along Streets), Japanese novelist Ryotaro Shiba describes the quiet wonders of Hida-Furukawa, where traces of the ancient Muromachi era culture are still strongly felt.
Just a twenty minute train ride from Takayama will bring you to Hida-Furukawa, which is locally known as the “back parlor of Hida”, whose residents still maintain daily lives that harken back to a simpler time.
Begin your winding journey through Hida-Furukawa at the picturesque Setogawa Canal, a stretch of aqua beauty where scores of koi can be seen, undulating their golden bodies as if to welcome you into another world. See the Matsuri Hiroba, where the renowned and very unusual Furukawa Festival takes place in spring. When you take a walk around, here you will surely find yourself relaxing and settling down into the charmingly peaceful atmosphere.
Once you step out of the town, you will be able to admire the beautiful mountains which are strongly reflected in Satoyama’s regional lifestyle.
The beautiful aspects of each season in Satoyama will spread out before your eyes, and you can enjoy songs of birds, the chirping of insects, the murmur of a brook and the sensation of the wind blowing around you, all to yourself. You will never feel more intimately connected to time and place than you will when cycling in Hida.
As you leisurely bike through gorgeous farming villages, you can take in the seasonal rhythms of a unique way of life handed down over generations. Here you will begin to explore life in Hida.
Your journey through rice fields and charming ancient avenues will help you to discover the unique beauty of Japan. Keep an eye out for details big and small, as each is important to this lifestyle seldom seen anywhere else.
Rice plants are an essential part of Satoyama’s landscape, and each shows a different sort of scenery, thanks to the careful work of the farmers. The locals show their appreciation to Mother Nature for their continued livelihood in many ways.
You can also take the opportunity to visit a local market where colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables are sold, and local tales can be heard from residents.
There are also many water-drawing spots in Hida, where you can collect some of the purest, clean spring waters – something that these mountains have in abundance.
Journey beyond the guidebooks in Hida, and visit everything from natural havens to local gathering spots essential to rural town life in Japan.
To learn more:
Address: Japan, Gifu, Hida, Furukawacho, Ninomachi 8-11
I-Cafe Takayama Tour Desk
Address: I-Cafe Takayama Tour Desk (JR Takayama Station)