It’s Andres, from Boutique Japan.

This month’s postcard comes from the charming and little-visited town of Hida Furukawa:

In recent years, as Japan has become an increasingly popular destination, the small city of Takayama has gradually become better and better known, to the extent that travelers seeking more off-the-beaten-path experiences may need to look even further afield.

Takayama, located in the Japanese Alps — and just two hours from beautiful Kanazawa — is a lovely little place, but particularly during the day it becomes quite crowded with tourists.

One way to experience fewer tourists is to spend the night, since so many of those who visit are on day trips and/or bus tours. At night, Takayama really quiets down, with most visitors dining in at their ryokans and going to bed early.

Another wonderful little escape is to venture to the nearby town of Hida Furukawa:

Located just 20 minutes away by train (approx. 30 minutes by road), Hida Furukawa is full of charm, with a lovely and well-preserved historical district – and significantly fewer visitors (you may not have the place to yourself, as it’s somewhat popular with Japanese tourists, though far less so with foreign visitors).

If you’re in the mood to sample the renowned local beef, Hida-gyu (one of Japan’s highest-quality brands of wagyu), the unpretentious Matsuri restaurant is highly recommended:

Stroll along the Setogawa Canal, lined with old kura (warehouses), and home to two excellent sake shuzo (breweries), Kaba Shuzo and Watanabe Shuzo, where you can sample sake, and — with advance reservations — tour the facilities.

Our Latest Article:

  • We’ve put together a comprehensive Reading List for travelers to Japan, with all our favorite fiction & nonfiction books. If you or someone you know is visiting, this is a must-read (no pun intended)!

Until Next Time!


Andres Zuleta
Founder, Boutique Japan

P.S. If you are thinking about working with us for your Japan trip, please make sure to contact us via this link (rather than by replying to this message)!

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Click here to see more stories from happy Japan travelers.