FabCafe’s concept of bringing tools and community together as one is no longer necessarily cutting edge, with 3D printing certainly more commonplace than it once was. But to see it take shape in Hida Furukawa—the very epitome of craft heritage steeped in woodworking history—is a truly creative match made in heaven.
Hida is a city which is clearly proud of its heritage, from its woodworking industries and innovative joinery techniques to its reputation for Hida-no-takumi (skilled craftsmen), the influences of its success can be seen in the city’s very fabric (no pun intended!). But Hida no doubt surely recognises it must keep with the times to stay relevant and even survive, with depopulation threatening to erode many smaller rural communities across Japan.
FabCafe Hida, then, provides a collaborative space that invites new generations to learn, create, connect and feel inspired by the community and history surrounding them. It’s a sustainable vision that not only seeks to take advantage of Hida’s abundance of wood and know-how but also has one eye on local revitalisation as it seeks to promote knowledge transfer and innovation to help breath new life into Hida itself.
But let’s not forget the “cafe” part either — with FabCafe Hida perfectly placed in the Ninomachi part of the downtown and a nice reward for those walking around this area. Try from a range of specialty coffees or organic teas (like Kuromoji, or ‘Spicebush’). The Hida Canele (¥310) uses milk from local dairy producer, Bokuseisha, with seasonal variations occasionally added to the menu. For more substantial fare, consider the Hayashi rice (tomato, Shiitake mushroom and beef stew, ¥950), or Hida Bagel sandwich set (¥850) — using smoked salmon, cream cheese and freshly baked bagels from over the ‘road’ in Takayama’s Nonaca Bakery.
FabCafe demands a visit no matter if you are a traditional history buff, coffee connoisseur, ‘fabbing’ enthusiast, or just looking for a rest.
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