Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Hida Furukawa and the Famous Anime Movie, Your Name

Hida Furukawa (飛騨古川), a quaint, unassuming town, has become a lot more lively since Makoto Shinkai’s movie – Your Name (君の名は) hit the theater. The town serves as the inspiration behind many iconic scenes from the film! It can be accessed just two stations away from Hida Takayama City, which is a popular tourist destination in its own right. Whether you are like us, big fans of the movie, or if you simply want to enjoy the traditional atmosphere of the Kami-Sannomachi of Takayama, but dislike the crowd, Hida Furukawa will surely give you a deep and pleasant impression!

Hida Furukawa, located in Hida City, can be explored within 2 to 3 hours. However, if you are here to visit all the real-life locations of the movie – Your Name, you will at least want to spend a whole day.

If you are thinking about when is the best time to visit Hida Furukawa, how about in April? The cherry blossoms will be blooming. If you come to Hida Furukawa on the 19th and the 20th of April, you can participate in the Furukawa Festival (古川祭), where a luxurious float parade takes place during the day and the traditional Taiko Drums (太鼓) will be played at night (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Hida-Furukawa-Japan
Ⓒ Hida City

Below is a list of places for you to add to your itinerary. Whether you are planning a movie pilgrimage trip or just for sightseeing, we have got you covered! Note if you are only after sightseeing and have no interest in the movie, please skip through the “pilgrimage spots”.

Hida Furukawa Station (飛騨古川駅)

Hida Furukawa Station is probably your first stop if you come to this little town by public transport.

And for fans of the movie Your Name, this is an exciting moment for you! This is the Station where Taki and the others got off in an attempt to search for Mitsuha.

Ⓒ Hida City

Tip: there are coin-operated lockers at the station if you ever need them. The biggest size that fits 30 inches suitcase costs 600 yen each time.

Pilgrimage Spot #1 – Hidakuro-Chan At The Station

Ⓒ Hida City

You will see the same scene in the movie as soon as you pass the ticket gate. The mascot of the Hida area, Hidakuro-chan is standing in front of the vending machine (well…except in the movie, it was a person wearing the Hidakuro-chan’s costume, and in real life, you only have the cardboard version).

This is the scene where Taki was struggling for directions, whereas Tsukasa and Okudera were having fun taking photos with the Hidakuro-chan in the background (´▽`*).

Pilgrimage Spot #2 – Taxi Stand Outside of the Station

The next spot that will excite the fans is just located outside Hida Furukawa Station.

This is where Taki asked the taxi driver for directions.

So when you arrive, how about a selfie with the taxi in the background? It is probably harder to have the taxi driver standing next to their cars because they are usually at the drivers’ seats, ready to fetch you to your destination so they can get paid (´▽`*).

Pilgrimage Spot #3 – Train Arriving at the Station

Ⓒ Hida City

The next pilgrimage spot is from the bridge over the railway line.

The bridge can be accessed close to the bus stop in front of the station. It is the bridge that leads to Hidashi Bunkakoryu Center (飛騨市文化交流センター).

In the movie, the express train – Wide View Hida stops at platform number 2. Unfortunately, amongst all the express train that stops at Hida Furukawa, only one of them stops at platform number 2…

So, if you are keen to snap a photo of this scene, you must be at the bridge at precisely 9:57 am. You will have 1 minute to take your perfect photo!

Tip: The Hidashi Information Centre (飛驒市觀光案內所) is just next to JR Hida Furukawa Station. You will find loads of information about Hida city and travel information here. Also, if you are planning to visit attractions that require an entrance fee, you might be able to find discount vouchers here as well (=゚ω゚)ノ!

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Kimono Ōbora (染と呉服 大洞)

Whether you are heading to the next pilgrimage spot or straight to see the Setogawa Canal full of Koi fish, make sure you stop by Kimono Obora and decorate yourself with their gorgeous kimono (*’▽’).

Changing into traditional clothes is one of the best ways to appreciate the traditional Japanese atmosphere here at Hida Furukawa!

The staff here is really experienced. They will dress you up in no time. Then, if you prefer to go sightseeing in the town in one of the rickshaws to further indulge in Japanese culture, we are sure the shop will be more than happy to help you get one (^_-)-☆.

Cultural Experience At Kimono Obora

Ⓒ Hida City

After you have been dressed up, if you fancy making your own Kumihimo (組紐) (a Japanese thread braid), just like those that were made in the movie, definitely give it a go!

We haven’t tried it ourselves, but it looks super fun (≧▽≦).

The experience usually takes an hour to complete with 1,800 yen. So if you have time and the money, we are sure the experience will be unforgettable!

Kimono Ōbora’s Access Information And Business Hours

  • From JR Hida Furukawa Station, it is just a 5-minute walk
  • The shop is open between 10 am and 6 pm daily except Thursdays

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Pilgrimage Spot #4 – Hidashi Library (飛驒市図書館)

Ⓒ Hida City

The next pilgrimage spot is the Hidashi Library. This is where Taki came to search for clues about where Itomori town (糸守町) is.

Here is where Taki sat for hours trying to figure out where Mitsuha lives!

There is also a special corner for the movie close to this spot (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Important: inside the library, if you want to take photos, please get permission from the staff first.

Ⓒ Hida City

Hidashi Library’s Access Information and Opening Hours

  • The library is just a 5-minute walk from JR Hida Furuoka Station
  • It is open from
    • 9 am to 8 pm from Tuesday to Friday
      • Closing early at 7 pm in the winter months
    • 9 am to 5 pm on weekends and public holidays
  • If a public holiday falls on a Monday, then the library will close on the next business day
  • The library will also close on the last Friday of each month and between the end of December to the beginning of January

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

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Okoshi Daiko Museum (古川まつり会館)

The splendid Furukawa Festival takes place on the 19th and the 20th of April each year. People from across Japan will travel to Hida Furukawa for this 2-Day festival that is a kind nowhere to be found in the rest of the country.

As tourists, we don’t usually have the luxuries of deciding when we can visit Japan. But Okoshi Daiko Museum is always there for us to get a vibe of this exciting festival.

Ⓒ Hida City

Instruments such as floats, Taiko drums…etc are displayed across the museum.

The floats that are displayed at the museum are rotated in spring and autumn each year. So if you are a big fan of festival floats, this gives you an incentive to visit this museum multiple times (^_-)-☆.

Outside of the museum, there is this little hut that has a Taiko drum in it.

This is for anyone who fancies a taste of the Furukawa Festival’s Okoshi Daiko (起こし太鼓). With 100 yen, you are allowed to hit the drum! Remember to make a prayer before you hit the drum as your dream may come true (^_-)-☆.

Okoshi Daiko Museum’s Access Information, Opening Hours, and Admission Fee

  • The museum is located a 5-minute walk away from JR Hida Furukawa Station
  • It is open 7 days a week from
    • 9 am to 5 pm from March to November
    • 9 am to 4:30 pm from December to February
    • The museum is closed from the 30th of December and the 2nd of January each year
  • The admission fee is
    • 700 yen for adults
    • 00 yen for elementary school students

Tip: Remember to pick up one of the discount vouchers from the Hidashi Information Center (飛驒市觀光案內所) before you pay for your admission!

Important: Please take note of their visitor’s guidelines HERE (especially around the Koi fish in the pond).

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Pilgrimage Spot #5 – Ajidokoro Furukawa (味処古川)

The 5th pilgrimage spot is the restaurant – Ajidokoro Furukawa.

This is where Okutera and Tsukasa ate Gohei Mochi while Taki was eagerly getting information about Itomori Town (´▽`*). The Gohei Mochi is the local specialty. The rice will firstly be crushed and then pinched into an oval shape before being grilled with soy sauce-infused miso.

After the movie went viral in Japan and worldwide, this restaurant became super popular! You can see posters of the movie everywhere. There is even a notebook in the restaurant for you to jot down your excitement (≧▽≦).

Apart from the Gohei Mochi, the restaurant also serves other local dishes. While quite a few of the dishes, such as hoba miso seem to be made from local fresh vegetables, we have yet to receive a response from the restaurant on whether the dressing and sauce used during the cooking process are completely vegetarian. So if you feel like having a proper meal there, please utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarian article to confirm the ingredients used.

Ajidokoro Furukawa Access Information and Business Hours

  • Ajidokoro Furukawa is located a 7-minute walk away from JR Hida Furukawa Station
  • It is open 7 days a week between 9 am and 5 pm
  • In winter, it may close earlier at 4 pm

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Setogawa Canal and Shirakabe Dozogai Street (瀬戸川と白壁土蔵街)

Ⓒ Hida City

Before the movie Your Name came out, Hida Furukawa was probably best known for the Koi fish in Setogawa Canal.

The canal was originally an extension of Masushima Castle’s (増島城) moat for local agricultural purposes. Since the early 1900s, the canal is mainly used as a snow ditch in winter and firewater.

We all have an image that the streets in Japan are so clean. But, the reason that Koi fish were in the canal in the first place in 1968 was actually to stop people from littering the canal Σ(゚Д゚).

There are Koi fish food vending machines placed along the canal for anyone who has 100 yen and wants to feed those fat but cute fish (*´ω`).

If you are lucky, you might find one of the shops/houses close by offering free Koi fish food as well!

Koi Fish’s Wintering

Snowy winter for Koi fish is too cold. So in late November the residents of Furukawa gather together to catch more than 1000 Koi fish and transfer them to the pond in Masushima Castle Ruins.

And in early April, they gather again to transfer them back!

Ⓒ Hida City

It would be really fun if we could participate in this event, but it seems like it is not really open to non-residents…(;´・ω・)

Ⓒ Hida City

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Enkōji Temple (円光寺)

Enkōji Temple is just next to the Setogawa Canal and Shirakabe Dozogai Street.

What you want to see at this temple is the turtle-liked craving under the roof of the main hall. This turtle has been called “Mizuyobi no Kame (水呼びの亀)”. It is said that in 1904 when the fire disaster almost destroyed the Hida Furukawa town, the turtle protected this temple from the fire (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Ⓒ Hida City

Also, Enkōji Temple is one of the three temples that people visit during the Santera Mairi Festival (三寺まいり) on the 15th of January each year.

Click HERE to skip to Santera Mairi Festival (=゚ω゚)ノ.

  • Enkoji Temple is just a 5-minute walk away from JR Hida Furukawa Station
  • Entry is FREE!

Shinshūji Temple (真宗寺)

Shinshūji Temple is a temple with a long history that shines in the scenery of Hida Furukawa.

It is one of the three temples that people visit during the Santera Mairi Festival (三寺まいり) on the 15th of January each year.

Click HERE to skip to Santera Mairi Festival (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Ⓒ Hida City
Ⓒ Hida City

The red Imamiya Bridge (今宮橋) crossing the Araki River (荒城川) is a great photo spot no matter which season you visit Hida Furukawa!

In spring, instead of the trees covered in vibrant bright colors in the photo, the temple will be surrounded by light pink cherry blossom (*´ω`).

  • Shinshuji Temple is a 10-minute walk away from JR Hida Furukawa Station
  • Entry is FREE!

Honkōji Temple (本光寺)

Ⓒ Hida City

Honkōji’s main hall is the largest wooden architecture in the Hida region.

The temple is so magnificent that even when it is covered with snow, it still retains the solemn and inviolable sense of sacredness!

It is one of the three temples that people visit during the Santera Mairi Festival (三寺まいり) on the 15th of January each year.

  • Honkoji Temple is just a 5-minute walk away from JR Hida Furukawa Station
  • Entry is FREE!

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Hida Furukawa Sakura Gift Shop (飛騨古川さくら物産館)

Hida Furukawa Sakura Gift Shop is a great place to get souvenirs and movie-related products! It is also another place to experience making the Kumihimo (組紐) that Mitsuha and her family were making in the movie!

Apart from using the round stand used in the movie, you can also make bracelets…etc, without the stand (this option is cheaper, by the way). The Kumihimo experience with the round stand will take around half an hour to complete and 1,500 yen. This experience requires advance booking.

Another experience that Hida Furukawa Sakura Gift Shop provides is making traditional candles. If you haven’t made one before, it could be fun to give it a go! It will only take you 15 minutes and 800 yen (^_-)-☆. Why candles, you ask? Click HERE to skip to Santera Mairi Festival!

Hida Furukawa Sakura Gift Shop’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Hida Furukawa Sakura Gift Shop is open from
    • 10 am to 4:30 pm from April to November
    • 10 am to 4 pm from December to March
  • It closes on Thursdays unless it is a public holiday and from the end of December to the beginning of January
  • The shop is just a 3-minute walk away from Shirakabe Dozokai Street!

Watanabe Sake Brewery (渡辺酒造店)

Ⓒ Hida City

The sake brewery industry boomed once upon a time in Hida Furukawa. Although now there are only 2 breweries left, the sake brewed locally is indispensable to the daily life of the town.

Hourai (蓬莱) is the name of the sake that is famous not only locally but across the country. If you want to gain a deeper knowledge of how this delicious sake was made, you can book a sake brewery tour with them on their webpage HERE!

Important: Reservations have to be made 5 days in advance.

Fun fact: that round ball above the entrance of the brewery was made of cedar. The brewery will hang the freshly made cedar ball at the beginning of the brewing process. When the ball turns brown, the locals will know that it is time to splash on some sake!

What is really worthwhile to mention about this brewery is that one of its expert brewers – Cody Brailsford – was originally from the U.S. He is one of the only two foreign sake brewers in Japan at the moment. After spending years improving his sake brewery knowledge, he was finally recognized and has his own sake named Cody’s Sake! If you are interested in his story, you can find an article on Watanabe Sake Brewery’s website HERE.

Watanabe Sake Brewery’s Access Information and Business Hours

  • The brewery is located just a 5-minute walk from JR Hida Furukawa Station
  • You can visit the brewery between 9 am and 5 pm every day except from the end of December to the beginning of January

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Pilgrimage Spot #6 – Keta Wakamiya Shrine (気多若宮神社)

Before we get into which movie scene was based on this Shrine, this Shrine is where the Okoshi Daiko (起こし太鼓) event of the Furukawa Festival takes place.

The event is so popular that additional train services are always scheduled for that night (=゚ω゚)ノ!

Check for yourself to know why so many people want to be part of the event below ↓↓↓↓↓

Ⓒ Hida City

To get to Keta Wakamiya Shrine, you will just need to walk 1 km from JR Hida Furukawa Station. It will take you around 15 minutes (^_-)-☆. And this is out the other exit of the JR Hida Furukawa Station (i.e. not on the same side as the Setogawa Canal & Shirakabe Dozogai Street).

The Staircase that Featured in the Movie

In the movie Your Name, this staircase appears briefly during Taki’s trip to find Itomoro Town.

This is where Taki handed over the picture of the lake in Itomoro Town to the locals in an attempt to find out where the lake is!

Ⓒ Hida City

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Pilgrimage Spot #7 – Miyagawa Ochiai Bus Stop (宮川町落合バス停)

Ⓒ Hida City

This is the bus stop that Taki, Okutera, and Tsukasa were resting at after they ran around trying to find Itomori Town.

Although the bus stop is currently obsolete, still be aware of the cars on the road. Being hit by a car is barely better than being hit by a bus…(;´∀`)

To get to the bus stop, it is easier to take the JR train to JR Tsunogawa Station (角川駅), just two stations away from JR Hida Furukawa Station.

The bus stop is just 450 meters away from JR Tsunogawa Station (5 mins walk).

You should see a red bridge as soon as you get out of the JR Tsunogawa Station. Crossing the bridge and turning left, the bus stop should be in front of you within minutes.

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Festivals at Hida Furukawa

Furukawa Festival (古川祭)

Ⓒ Hida City

The Furukawa Festival, registered as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in December 2016, is held on the 19th and the 20th of April each year by the Keta Wakamiya Shrine. The 2-days event is like an era picture scroll that unfolds grandly.

The festival has three parts.

  • The Mikoshi Procession (神輿行列), where the God of the Shrine is carried in a portable shrine and parades the Furukawa township.
  • The Okoshi-Daiko or The Rousing Drum (起し太鼓) nighttime parade involves almost all the Furukawa’s young men.
  • The Yatai Parade (屋台行列), where 9 large Yatai Floats are parading throughout the Furukawa township.
Ⓒ Hida City
Ⓒ Hida City

Furukawa Festival demonstrated the concept of motion and stillness, which is said to signal the arrival of spring!

If you are interested in the schedule of the festival, HERE is the full schedule for 2022.

Tip: The Okoshi-Daiko event that takes place on the night of the 19th of April is continuing to midnight. You might want to book your accommodation away from the town center if you do not plan to stay up late or the sound of the drums will keep you awake!

Santera Mairi (三寺まいり)

Each year at Hida Furuakwa, on the 15th of January, the Santera Mairi Festival is held.

In the beginning, the locals visit the three temples to pray. In the Meiji (1868 – 1912) and Taisho eras (1912 – 1926), young ladies from the area used to travel far away to make money to support their families. When they come back to gather with their families during the new year, a lot of them get to meet the local young men when they pray at the three temples.

Ⓒ Hida City

The Santera Mairi has thus transformed into an event for young men and young ladies to meet. Nowadays, along the Setogawa Canal, thousands of candles are lit by young ladies praying for a good relationship.

Ⓒ Hida City

You might notice some of the candles are red and others are white candles. The color of the candles is actually not random. When you are making a wish, light up a white one. And if your wish has come true during the year, the year after, you will come back to light up a red one!

On the day, you will also find lit-up lanterns floating on the Setogawa Canal.

During the good old days, when there was no such thing as street lights, lanterns were essential if you wanted to go out at night. On the day of Santera Mairi, families would visit the three temples together.

Ⓒ Hida City

Because it would be so dark that one could hardly see people’s faces clearly at night, they wrote their family names on the lantern. And when two groups of people bumped into each other, this is when they greeted each other properly, which could be the start of a new relationship between the two families’ youngsters!

Kitsune-Bi Matsuri (飛騨古川きつね火まつり)

Ⓒ Hida City

Another interesting festival that is held at Hida Furukawa is the Kitsune-bi Matsuri. It is held on the 4th Saturday of September each year.

Kitsune means fox in Japanese. The festival is basically witnessing the marriage of a fox couple (=゚ω゚)ノ.

In Japan, foxes are said to be the servant of a god who looks after people’s prosperity.

So, people who participate in the parade are said to be granted a prosperous life. And people who do businesses will have a lot of good deals completed successfully.

In the daytime, aside from the parade, there are facial art stalls that draw a fox nose and whiskers on your face!

The event reaches its peak when the wedding ceremony takes place. And for that fox couple, it is actually a real couple selected from across the country who put themselves forward (≧▽≦).

Ⓒ Hida City

Click HERE to get back to a list of tourist destinations.

Hida Furukawa’s Cherry Blossom and Autumn Foliage Season

  • Cherry blossom season is from mid to late April
  • Autumn foliage season is from late October to mid-November

How to Get to Hida Furukawa

Ⓒ Hida City

Hida Furukawa is just two stations away from Hida Takayama City.

For information on how to get to JR Hida Takayama Station, please refer to our Hida Takayama article!

For a detailed map of Hida Furukawa, please click HERE.

If you are visiting other tourist destinations such as Shirakawa-gō nearby, find out more details about discounted bus tickets that may save your money in our Chūbu Region Transportation article!

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