Cycle through Japan’s Beautiful Satoyama Scenery
Most people stroll through the historic district of Hida-Takayama, and go as far as the world heritage site at Shirakawago before heading home. Why not add a special experience to this typical route? Something to definitely check out is the Hida-Satoyama Cycling tour, which takes you through an area called Hida-Furukawa, where beautiful satoyama scenery still survives, and offers opportunities to interact with the locals.
What is Hida-Furukawa?
Hida-Furukawa is called Takayama’s inner parlor, and it is well-known as another one of the historic districts that survive in Hida. With the townscape’s white-walled storehouses and stone temple walls as an elegant backdrop, the Setogawa River flows by, filled with over 1,000 colorful carp. In this town, famous around the country as a sightseeing spot, tourists take pictures while enjoying the scenery alongside local children playing cheerfully, and you can feel the kindness and warmth rooted in their way of life.
What’s special about Satoyama Cycling?
The Hida Satoyama Cycling tours you can experience in Hida-Furukawa are not cycling tours where you just ride a bicycle around sightseeing spots. There you can encounter the townscape, with its wealth of history and natural beauty, and the warmth of the local people. On these tours, you are led by a guide knowledgeable about the community, so you can chat with the locals, and sometimes experience work on the farms, or even visit inside the spaces where the locals spend their lives.
In addition to a shorter course that avoids slopes and the standard one-day course that lets you enjoy both cycling and hiking in virgin forest, Hida Satoyama Cycling also offers special limited scheduled tours, including a tour that passes through several tiny villages on the way to a gorgeous peach orchard, and a two-day tour where you stay overnight in a mountain village. These entertaining plans, which offer something a little different from a regular cycling tour, are the reason there are so many repeat customers who participate.
Of course, the satoyama scenery, which changes with the seasons, is also an attraction. For example, during the planting season in May, the sunlight shines off the flooded fields like a mirror, and they also reflect a magnificent image of the surrounding mountains. In summer, you can enjoy a landscape of lush green rice plants, and the ripened ears of rice in the fields turn everything a golden yellow in the fall.
Discover the hidden beauty of Hida you cannot find in a guide book!
Hida Satoyama Cycling
Address 8-11 Furukawacho Ninomachi, Hida, Gifu Prefecture
Telephone 0577-73-5715 (Hida Satoyama Cycling Office)
Access 7 minute walk from JR Hida-Furukawa Station
Prices (*Current as of August 2015)
Half JPY 4,700
Standard JPY 7,300
Ride & Hike JPY 9,800 (box lunch included / minimum of 2 participants)
10% off for applications by 4 or more adults
50% for age 12 and under
*Options: kid’s chair (up to 22kg weight capacity) can be added for an extra JPY 1,000