We would like to welcome you to the City of Takayama. Surrounded by the rich nature of the Northern Alps, Hida-Takayama has developed its own culture; a kind of mixture of Edo culture and Kyoto culture, but still totally different from these two major cultural lifestyles. We hope you will enhance your stay in the Hida Area by visiting many historical sites, and experiencing the traditional lifestyle of the area, including its traditional festivals and tasty dishes. There are also a lot of interesting places to visit beyond the city area. For example, you can stay in Takayama and take a short trip to Shirakawa-go, a World Heritage Site. This book was prepared by the Department of Cultural Development at Gifu Women’s University along with the School of Cultural Development at the Graduate School of Gifu Women’s University and the affiliated Digital Archives Institute. It hopes to augment resources for travelers from overseas who want detailed information on the Hida Area in English, or for those locals who want to study about the area in English. In fact, the word “Ourai” in this booklet’s title has two meanings. One is the modern meaning depicting the coming and going of people, products, and customs. The other is the meaning used traditionally since the Heian Period; that is, of textbook or handbook, not just for young pupils, but also for businessmen, farmers or even explorers. We hope that this book will serve as a handbook to the many wonderful things you may experience in the Hida Region, as well as a means by which you will be encouraged to come time and time again to this rich land. In short, we hope it will be of value to you all.

January 2015
Prof. Akemi Miyake
School of Cultural Development
Gifu Women’s University


Materials and specific information in this book was collected from local administrative agencies and local school boards on the condition that they are used in schools or for non-profit purposes.

Free Use Mark

The Free Use Mark means that information in this book can be used in schools or for non-profit purposes.

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For those wishing to see more photographs or high resolution images of photographs in the guidebook, please scan the barcodes in this book with your iPad, iPhone, or other smartphone device. The QR Barcodes allow interested readers to browse the Gifu Women’s University websites on the Hida Archives (now predominantly in Japanese). If you are unable to scan the QR Barcode on your device, please visit:

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