Sake warehouses and canals

Hot on the heels of the Hida folk museum we hop on a train to the quiet little town of Hida Furukawa.

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The historic, canal-lined streets, temples and museums of Hida-Furukawa are less crowded than Takayama and the town has a wonderful calming feel, due to small canals full of carp that flow through the streets.

The Seto River and the townscape of white-walled warehouses makes Hida Furukawa a pretty sightseeing spot.

Delicate bamboo water features add a gentle watery calm and a constant ‘boc boc’.

The old streets remain intact, quaint and quiet. Allowing for a peaceful stroll to soak up the atmosphere.

In the old town white walled warehouses sit alongside adorable tiny little canals.

Furukawa, like nearby Takayama, became prosperous in the Edo Period due to the rich timber resources of the surrounding mountains which include cedar, cypress bamboo and pine.

With good water, good rice, and good food, Hida is deeply rooted to sake production in terms of culture, history, industry, and festivals.

This is evidenced by a plethora of Sake breweries and associated paraphernalia.

My favourite cheeky deity, tanuki – the raccoon dog, pops up yet again with his jaunty hat and angled, expressive little face.

Below colourful adverts for Sake and a brewery displays its Sugidama, a distinctive cedar ball.

Sake makers would hang up a fresh green sugidama in November or December, right after they pressed sake made from the new rice harvest.

Customers knew that a few months later, when the sugidama turned completely brown, the sake was ready to drink. It would appear that this brewery’s booze is ready to drink!

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