Situated in the unspoiled hills of northern Gifu Prefecture, Hida Furukawa is a small traditional town that retains much of its historic charm. Yet, Hida Furukawa sees fewer visitors than its larger neighbor, Takayama, just 15km to the south. While it is a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year, during winter, the whole region is blanketed in snow, and Hida Furukawa is transformed into a magical snowy townscape.
Snowy sights in the old district
A short walk southwest of Hida-Furukawa Station brings you to Shirakabe Dozogai, a narrow street lined with old buildings that evoke the atmosphere of days gone by. In the winter (especially from late December to March), snow piles up along the street and hangs from the eaves of the machiya (traditional townhouses), creating an unforgettable scene. Many of the streets around this area are lined by small glistening canals, which are home to koi carp in the summer, while in winter, the snow provides decoration to the quaint bridges which loom above the water. Even in the very coldest months, this district is a delight to explore with its myriad of side streets leading to cozy cafes, stylish restaurants serving seasonal local food, and peaceful snow-covered temples.
Winter activities to warm yourself up
After sightseeing around town, you may want to try your hand at something more high octane. Hida Furukawa is ideally situated with easy access to numerous ski and winter sports venues.
The closest option is Hida Kawai, a superb small resort 30 minutes by car up in the hills to the west of town. This resort has fantastic courses, excellent snow conditions, and best of all, almost no waiting for the lifts! Most of the courses are suitable for beginners and children, but there are advanced runs for more experienced skiers too.
To the east of town, you can find Hida Nagareha, a splendid winter sports resort with picturesque runs and views of the Northern Alps. After a full day on the slopes, you can even soothe your weary limbs at the resort’s on-site hot spring.
Hida Nagareha Ski Resort
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