Hida City is a quiet picturesque town outside of Takayama City. The people of Hida generally live a simple lifestyle and have fostered a distinct culture different from many parts of Japan. For hundreds of years, this area was highly isolated, and until recent years the only access to the area were the high mountain passes.
For visitors, it will seem like a trip back in time with the beauty of the rice terraces and the snow covered traditional Japanese houses.
The Hida area, known for its extreme cold climate during the winter months, have created and ideal environment for tasty vegetables, fruits, and rice. Sake made from local spring water is also considered a delicacy in the area.
The Hida area, blessed with abundant forest resources, was known for skillful woodworkers and carpenters.
Dating back to Nara Period(700AD), these workers went to the ancient capitals to build palaces and temples. Because of their excellent craftsmanship, people in the capitals called them “Hida no Takumi” or Hida’s Master Builders. For approximately 500 years, 40,000-50,000 craftsmen worked in the Japanese capitals.
These workers brought back new culture and knowledge they acquired while working at the capital and integrated the knowledge into building their own hometown culture in Hida. These traditions are still reflected today in the traditional houses built by “Hida no Takumi” which still stand peacefully in the town of Furukawa.
Different from ordinary tourist destinations, Hida City is a place where visitors can see closely the daily life in rural Japan. Visitors can see the friendly locals fishing in the rivers, growing vegetables in the farm fields, drying persimmons hung under the eaves, and preparing for pickling vegetables.
The center of Hida Furukawa town is small enough to walk around. If you want to see rice fields and traditional farmhouses in the countryside, getting around by bicycle is recommended. For visitors wishing to enjoy the outdoors, hiking the local mountains is another way to enjoy this area.