The Seto Canal is one of Hida Furukawa’s most scenic features. The artificial water channel runs parallel to three of Hida Furukawa’s oldest streets, Ichinomachi, Ninomachi and Sannomachi, and is a 5-minute walk from Hida-Furukawa Station. From April through November the canal is alive with 1,000 brightly colored carp swimming through its waters. Another major lure of the canal is the view of traditional white-walled storehouses that run parallel. The juxtaposition of the pure white storehouses and orange fish, coupled with the old-time atmosphere of Furukawa, create the perfect environment for a peaceful stroll.
On the last Sunday of November, Hida embraces the arrival of winter by organizing an event to remove carp from the canal. The labor-intensive and—perhaps time-consuming—event has residents and even tourists, out in support scooping up fish one by one with ball nets. Afterward, the carp are driven to Tenjin Pond—the moat around Masushima Castle ruins—and transferred to their temporary home individually via a slide. The event is symbolic of the passing seasons, highlighting the city’s preparation for winter, and helps protect the carp over winter. When spring returns, Hida Furukawa will be born anew, like the rebirth of nature, and will return the carp to the canal once more. Visitors can contact Hida Tourism Association if they wish to participate in this local event.
One of Hida Furukawa’s biggest annual events is the Furukawa Festival, held in April every year, which sees beautifully decorated floats (yatai) paraded through the city — but what happens to them during the rest of the year?
There are 10 storehouses (屋台蔵, yatai-gura) aroun...
Your Souvenir Stop: Japanese Candles by Mishima
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...