The Furukawa Festival, which heralds the arrival of spring, is Hida’s biggest annual festival held every April 19th–20th and is an intrinsic part of the city itself, with nine storehouses scattered around the downtown area that help preserve the floats ready for the big day.
The Exhibition Hall provides visitors the chance to learn more about the festival at their own pace at any time of year, as well as gain a closer look at one of the festival’s more visceral moments — the Okoshi-Daiko (‘rousing drum’) parade. This parade is held on the evening of April 19th and sees hundreds of half-naked men parading through the streets carrying a giant Japanese taiko drum — the Okoshi-Daiko. This is followed by a dozen neighbourhood groups (all half-naked men) carrying smaller tsuke-daiko drums attached to poles, which are later mounted as they perform a dizzying ‘dragonfly’ pose. You can actually recreate this pose in the museum, without the worry of a boisterous crowd looking on!
Although it’s entirely possible to visit—and in principle, apply to take part—in the real festival, many people, especially those with children, will likely be just as content to enjoy the frantic, chilly scenes from the comfort of the Exhibition Hall’s 4K Theater. Make no mistake — it is a marvel to behold and the movie here perfectly captures the emotion and energy on display.
The hall also does well to showcase some of the float parade traditions too, like the karakuri ningyo (mechanical marionettes) or the children’s Kabuki, which both take place on the float stages themselves. The miniature mikoshi procession display as well as meticulously designed 1872-built mikoshi itself are both highlights waiting to be discovered up on the second floor.
Furukawa Matsuri, designated as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the government, is an exhilarating festival held on April 19th and 20th annually. The festival consists of two parts: ...
This little unassuming store along a Hida Furukawa backstreet is well worth seeking out on your Hida travels. If not to chance your luck by observing a live demonstration of Mishima-san making his Japanese candles (Wa-rousoku) inside the entrance, then just to meet and admire his incredible passi...
Lookout Points in Hida and Takayama
Although Japan is home to roughly 125 million people, you may be surprised to learn that two-thirds of the country is covered in rugged mountains. Here, nature is as diverse as the country’s cuisine and culture. Nowhere is this natural beauty better exemplified than in the Hida region. Reco...