■Enjoy a walk downtown wearing kimono
Furukawa once flourished as the town of the Masushima Castle. Here you can experience the town’s old style buildings, white plastered walls, traditional merchant’s wooden houses (machiya), and sake cellars, all preserved in their original forms. Experience old downtown wearing kimono. There are kimono rental stores available in town. You can also enjoy the beautiful Seto River and its 1,000 koi fish. Sake breweries and a traditional Japanese candle shop are other fun spots to visit. You can also stay in a Japanese style inn. There is a renovated 400-year old Japanese style guesthouse (reasonably priced inn) available in town. Hida City is like stepping back into time and getting to experience old Japan.
Furukawa Matsuri Festival is held every year on April 19 and 20. You can learn about the local culture and its festivals at the Hida Furukawa Matsuri Kaikan (festival museum).
■Experience the nature of Japan through bicycling through the woodlands of Satoyama
Bicycling guided tours around Satoyama is a very popular activity for tourists. You can enjoy cycling on the paths between the rice fields and drink the natural spring water, which has been enjoyed by the locals for many years. This bicycle tour offers a different and unique experience of Hida City. The unique attraction called Rail Mountain Bike “Gattan Go!” is located in Kamioka Town. The Rail Mountain Bike attraction is a bike ride on a discontinued railway track. You can feel the vibration and sound from the joints of the rails. Each season offer different views of nature. Such as as cherry blossoms in the spring, fresh verdure in summer, and colorful crimson foliage in autumn. You can enjoy and experience the beauty of the Japanese seasons.
This is the activity where you can fully enjoy and experience the beauty of the Japanese landscape.
■Experience Japanese mountain living
Dotted with terraced rice-fields, stone-built walls, and traditional wooden storehouses called Itakura, Miyagawa Town is an area in Hida City that has preserved the old style farming landscape of Japan.
Ikegahara Wetlands offer amazing scenery with each of the four seasons, such as white arum in spring, and lilies in summer. Kawai Town, next to Miyagawa Town, also has picturesque views of rice paddies and offers outdoor activities, such as swimming and camping.
Experience traditional Japanese papermaking and create your own handmade Japanese paper.
■Enjoy gourmet food in Hida City
Enjoy the world famous locally grown Hida beef. The often expensive beef is available at a reasonable price in Hida City. You can find dishes using Hida beef, such as croquette, curry and rice, and rice bowl dishes. The Hida croquette is a local dish of fried mashed potatoes with rich flavored minced Hida beef coated in a crispy batter. Be sure to try some of the local dishes such as the kanboshi-daikon and komo-dofu. Kanboshi is a dried daikon radish made during winter. The area’s severe winter climate produces this flavored dried daikon radish. Komo-dofu is a tofu dish that is rolled up by “komo” (a woven sheet of straw) and boiled. There is a workshop available teaching how to make Komo-dofu. The Hida area is well known for its sake (Japanese rice wine). This is because of Hida’s mountain ranges, which has clear mountain water and produces high quality rice, which is a very important ingredient for high quality sake. There are many sake breweries offering taste testing. Why don’t you find your favorite sake brewery?
Be sure to stop by the local café, which has been renovated from an old style Japanese house, and enjoy the fresh-made melonpan (bread). This is a very popular item, and only a limited number are made each day. So be sure to come early. You don’t want to miss these local sweets. Sakura-dorayaki is a cherry blossom fiavored pancake sandwich with sweet red bean paste. Miso-senbei is a rice cracker mixed with rich flavored matured miso paste.