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Hida Furukawa, a small Kyoto in Gifu, has a beautiful townscape with white wall warehouses and merchant houses on the grid along the Seto River. It has also become known for the appearance of Hida Furukawa Station in the popular anime movie "Your Name". While walking around the town, you can stop by the sake brewery and experience traditional crafts such as traditional Japanese candles and wood artworks. This beautiful location is featured on our new Deep Japan Tours and Deep Japan & Hiroshima Tours.
The main spot for sightseeing in Hida Furukawa will be Shirakabe Dozogai street. As many as 1000 carps swim in the Seto River, and along the river, white wall warehouses and stone walls continue for 500m making people stop to enjoy this quaint view. (From late November to early April, the carps will be transferred to Tenjin Pond to protect them from the cold weather.) At night, the lights come on and the more beautiful cityscape emerges.
The unique Fox Wedding Festival (Kitsune-bi Matsuri) tells the revival of fairy-tale "Sunshower" and is held on the 4th Saturday of September annually. The procession by foxes (people wearing fox's make-up) walking through the darkness of the town with the lights of the torches. It is said that seeing the procession gives a divine blessing for “rich harvest” ”safety of own family” and “prosperity in business”. Participants can wear fox make-up for free, so why not enjoy this festival with the locals together?
The Santera Mairi Festival, literally "Three Temple Visit", is held annually on January 15th and known as one of Hida Furukawa's top festivals.Traditionally, it was used as an event for young men and women to meet but today, the event is seen as more of a temple pilgrimage. People visit Hida's three main temples of Enkoji, Honkoji, and Shinshuji to pray for fortune in their relationships. Hundreds of snow candles and lanterns are lit across town from 4pm, including along the Seto River, creating a romantic, warm atmosphere against the cold winter night. Candles used in this festival are locally produced Warosoku Japanese candles made by Mishima. Red and white candles that align the Seto River can be added by visitors too — those who pray for fortune in new relationships light white candles, while those who have seen success light red candles.
Hida Furukawa is also popular for visiting sake breweries. Watanabe Sake Brewery is a long-established store that has been in business since 1870, and the brewery is designated as a national registered tangible cultural property. The main brand is Horai, and another popular product is "Forbidden Daiginjo Cake". The fine cake sponge absorbs Daiginjo and it is very moist, soft and chewy. You can also tour this sake brewery.
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