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Gifu Prefecture – March Trip to Hida Takayama and Shirakawa-go [Day 3]

Writer : kosu

I visited Hida Takayama and Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture in March over 3 days and 2 nights.
The area is great to visit in any season, but I decided to visit while the snow was still around this time.
In this article, I’ll be introducing my day 1 travels from Shinjuku to Shirakawa-go as well as my walk through Shirakawa-go.
This article will introduce the 3rd day of my trip as I visit Takayama’s morning market and “Hida Furukawa,” the setting used in the movie “Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name).”

Dates of Visit: March 4th-6th, 2017

Breakfast at Spa Hotel Alpina Hida Takayama

Breakfast was a Japanese and western-style buffet.
Breakfast was a Japanese and western-style buffet.

I’m a repeat customer at “Spa Hotel Alpina Hida Takayama” since I enjoyed my previous stay.
It’s built in a great location, and the rooms are spacious and beautiful. There’s also a large public bath and open-air bath, both drawn from a natural hot spring. A single night’s stay that includes breakfast is 6,500 yen.

There’s also an information terminal called “Alport” on the 1st floor that lets you search for recommendations for local restaurants and other sights. You can also pick up coupons exclusive for hotel guests.
You can even use the coupons at Kitchen Hida, which I visited the previous night.

OPEN

Spa Hotel Alpina Hida Takayama

Address
5-41 Nadamachi, Takayama City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
3 minutes on foot from JR Takayama Station
TEL
0577-33-0033
Check-in
3 pm
Check-out
10 am
WEB
URL(English)

Morning Walk

I planned to walk all the way to Hida Furukawa on my 3rd and final day, and since I still had some time until my train, I went for a morning walk to see Takayama’s morning market.

Takayama Official Tourism Website

Takayama Jinya
Takayama Jinya

As you can see, there was unfortunately cloudy weather on my 3rd day.

Morning Market by Jinya
Morning Market by Jinya

This morning market is held every day in the plaza in front of Takayama Jinya. There are usually 20-40 shops set up.
I got the impression that there were a lot of local customers.

OPEN

Morning Market by Jinya

Address
1-5 Hachikenmachi, Takayama City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
10 minutes on foot from JR Takayama Station
Hours
7:00am-12:00pm (8:00am-12:00pm November-March)
Closed
Open every day
Nakabashi Bridge
Nakabashi Bridge
Sanmachi
Sanmachi

It was still rather quiet in the morning.

Kajibashi
Kajibashi

This is a long-armed statue at Kajibashi.
Supposedly there’s a similar long-legged statue on the bridge too!
Apparently the long-armed and long-legged statues are a married couple.

Miyagawa Morning Market
Miyagawa Morning Market

The Miyagawa Morning Market is held every day in the Miyagawa area between Kajibashi and Yayoibashi.
There were more people shopping here than at the market in front of Jinya, and there were a lot of tourists too.
There were over 40 shops selling things like fresh vegetables, fruits, pickles, miso, and crafts.

OPEN

Miyagawa Morning Market

Address
Shimo3-machi, Takayama City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
10 minutes on foot from JR Takayama Station
Hours
7:00am-12:00pm (8:00am-12:00pm November-March)
Closed
Open every day
Sarubobo Shop
Sarubobo Shop

I took this picture after buying two items as souvenirs.
Sarubobo are made to look like baby monkeys.

Sarubobo Goods
Sarubobo Goods

Takayama Station

Next I headed back to Takayama Station to get to Hida Furukawa.

Wide-View Hida
Wide-View Hida

I took the escalator into the station.
This hanging banner celebrated Takayama Matsuri being registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The station building was finished in just 2016.
The station building was finished in just 2016.
View of Platform and Rails from Station Building
View of Platform and Rails from Station Building
This was an exhibit about Takayama Matsuri.
This was an exhibit about Takayama Matsuri.
Station
Station

I made my way from Takayama to Hida Furukawa by regular train along the JR Takayama Main Line.

Hida Furukawa Station

I arrived at Hida Furukawa Station about 20 minutes after leaving Takayama.

Hida City Official Tourism Website

Hida Takayama Mascot “Hidakuro”
Hida Takayama Mascot “Hidakuro”

You’re welcomed by a cut-out of “Hidakuro,” the Hida Takayama mascot, at the station.

Poster for “Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name)”
Poster for “Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name)”

I quickly discovered a poster for “Your Name,” a huge hit movie that took place in Hida Furukawa.

This was the view from the overpass above Hida Furukawa Station’s platform.
This was the view from the overpass above Hida Furukawa Station’s platform.

This was the view from the overpass above Hida Furukawa Station’s platform.
This exact same view is shown in the movie.

I got a map of the surrounding area from the tourist information center in front of the station, then started my walk around Hida Furukawa.

Home of Okoshidaiko – Hida Furukawa Matsuri Hall

The Furukawa Matsuri is held here every year on April 19th and 20th.
Furukawa Matsuri was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage along with Takayama Matsuri and others.
Hida Furukawa Matsuri Hall features stalls, mikoshi, and mechanical dolls that are actually used in the festival.

Hida Furukawa Matsuri Hall
Hida Furukawa Matsuri Hall

There were also 3D projections introducing Furukawa Matsuri on display too.

OPEN

Home of Okoshidaiko – Hida Furukawa Matsuri Hall

Address
14-5 Furukawachoichinomachi, Hida City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
5 minutes on foot from Hida Furukawa Station
Tel
0577-73-3511
Business Hours
9:00 am - 5:00 pm ※Until 4:30pm from December through March
Closed
Open every day
Admission
Adults (high school students and older) 500 yen, children 300 yen
WEB
URL(Japanese)

Enko-ji

The visiting of the 3 temples is a traditional event that has been ongoing for over 200 years. It occurs every year on January 15th.
It’s known as a series of visits that will improve your marriage prospects, so many young women go from temple to temple wearing Japanese clothing.

The visiting of the 3 temples is a traditional event that has been ongoing for over 200 years. It occurs every year on January 15th.
It’s known as a series of visits that will improve your marriage prospects, so many young women go from temple to temple wearing Japanese clothing.

Enko-ji is located right near the Seto River and Shirakabe Dozogai Street, which are great places to take photos.

OPEN

Enko-ji

Address
11-11 Furukawachotonomachi, Hida City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
5 minutes on foot from Hida Furukawa Station
Tel
0577-73-2954
Closed
Open every day
Admission
Free
WEB
URL(Japanese)

Sobasho Nakaya

I had lunch at a restaurant that has hand-made soba noodles made with local buckwheat flour.

Sobasho Nakaya
Sobasho Nakaya
Interior
Interior
Egoma Soba – Medium – 1,240 yen
Egoma Soba – Medium – 1,240 yen

This was made with egoma (wild sesame), a Hida specialty. The wasabi, which you grate yourself, was also delicious!
The soba had a lovely fragrance to it and was delightfully chewy; amazing!

OPEN

Sobasho Nakaya

Address
1-16 Furukawachosannomachi, Hida City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
5 minutes on foot from Hida Furukawa Station
Tel
0577-73-2859
Business Hours
11:00 am - 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Closed
No scheduled holidays

Hida Furukawa Sakura Bussankan

Here you can check out the Hida crafts and souvenirs on sale, or even try out braiding!

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior

A Panel for “Your Name”
This poster is sure to bring back the feelings you had while watching the movie.

OPEN

Hida Furukawa Sakura Bussankan

Address
2-20 Furukawachosannomachi, Hida City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
8 minutes on foot from Hida Furukawa Station
Tel
0577-73-7770
Business Hours
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Closed
Thursdays (Open on National Holidays)
WEB
URL(Japanese)

Shinshu-ji

Shinshu-ji
Shinshu-ji

Next I headed to Shinshu-ji, a temple located right by Hida Furukawa Sakura Bussankan.
This is another stop on the “3 Temple Visit.”

Honko-ji

Honko-ji
Honko-ji

Honko-ji is the final stop of the “3 Temple Visit.”
The main temple building is the largest wooden building in Hida.

Seto River and Shirakabe Dozogai Street

This is the #1 sightseeing spot in Hida Furukawa.
There are about 500 meters of white-plaster-walled storehouses and old houses along the Seto River.

There are over 1,000 koi fish that live in the Seto River, but during the winter (late November through early April) they’re moved to another pond, so I didn’t see them.
You should be able to get better photos here in a season where the plenty of colorful koi are swimming around.

Enko-ji
Enko-ji

Enko-ji again, which I’d visited just prior.

Taking a Break at an Old Japanese-Style Café

Ichinomachi Café
Ichinomachi Café

I found this pleasant café online.

Interior with a Calm Atmosphere
Interior with a Calm Atmosphere

The café is built inside of a renovated old house that’s over 100 years old.

I looked out at the street through the latticed window.
I looked out at the street through the latticed window.
Hot Cocoa 430 yen
Hot Cocoa 430 yen

I really liked the atmosphere inside the café, with pleasant jazz music flowing through the air, so without thinking I ended up ordering some ginger milk too.

Ginger Milk 450 yen
Ginger Milk 450 yen

I learned this after I’d returned home, but apparently former Japanese soccer player Hidetoshi Nakata visited this café himself and sang praises of their melon bread.

OPEN

Ichinomachi Café

Address
1-12 Furukawachoichinomachi, Hida City, Gifu[MAP]
Access
5 minutes on foot from Hida Furukawa Station
Tel
0577-73-7099
Business Hours
10:00 am - 5:00 pm (L.O.)
Closed
Tuesdays (Following day if Tuesday is a holiday)
WEB
URL(Japanese)

Hida Furukawa Station

It was almost time for me to leave, so I headed back to Hida Furukawa Station.

Waiting Room
Waiting Room
Taxi Boarding Area
Taxi Boarding Area

The taxi boarding area in front of the station was also shown in the movie.
I saw a lot of fans of the movie “Your Name” going around the various locations that were used in the film in Hida Furukawa.

Heading Home – Hida Furukawa Station to Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal

I headed back to Tokyo since my 3-days-2-nights trip had come to a close.

There was a nonstop express bus on the Shinjuku-Hida Takayama Line departing from Hida Furukawa.
The bus took about 6 hours from Furukawa Station to Shinjuku. It was 6,900 yen one way.

※Fares and travel times may vary.

Arriving in Shinjuku
Arriving in Shinjuku

The bus arrived at Shinjuku right on time.
The buses I’d taken on my previous trips had been caught up in traffic on the way back, but we got back with time to spare this time.

Shinjuku at Night
Shinjuku at Night

I saw nothing but historic buildings while on my trip, so arriving back in Shinjuku felt like I’d traveled through time (lol).

This ends my 3-days-2-nights solo trip to Hida Takayama and Shirakawa-go.
Shirakawa-go, Takayama, Hida Furukawa…. Each had its own unique charm, and I enjoyed my trip very much!
The scenery changes beautifully with the seasons, so no matter when you go you’ll be able to enjoy your sightseeing!