17th April 2022
Hida Asahi Cherry Tree tour 飛騨朝日村
This morning we wander around Hida Ashahi-mura to see the, at least locally, famous cherry trees. We walk around the village and visit 4~5 cherry trees at shrines and temple. These are a little disappointing as they are either past their prime or yet to shine.
So, we drive a short distance to visit another Shinmei shrine (Aoya district). Here the cherry blossom is reflected in a handily flooded rice field. At night it is clear that this is very special but in daylight with a stiff breeze rippling the water it is beautiful but not outstanding.
Having had our fill of blossom we head off towards Takayama but skirt the city to arrive in Hida Furukawa. There is a free car park near the city hall. The city hall provides a city map.
This old town was a centre for carpenters and craftsmen who were hired for temple projects in Nara and Kyoto, I assume. The old buildings here have intricate woodwork usually picked out in white.
There is also a sake brewery that has won awards worldwide and, I think, provides the sake for Japanese embassies.
There is a street of traditional white storehouses with a fast-running canal stocked with huge carps. This waterway is flanked with wispy willows and sparse cherry sapling which add a dash of colour to the scene. Very picturesque.
By coincidence, the town is preparing for its major festival Furukawa-matsuri (April 19th and 20th) at Keta Wakamiya shrine which involves floats with large drums on them pulled through the town. One of the floats is under construction as, I think, a demonstration.
Finally, we drive the road from Takayama to Shirakawa-go to reach our michi no eki Hida Hakusan for the night.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.