Hinamizawa (in Japanese: 雛見沢) is the main setting of the visual novel series Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (or When They Cry in the English translation of the visual novels). This village is well-known for carrying an unusual disease called the Hinamizawa Syndrome, which was originally mistaken for their god, Oyashiro-sama's Curse. Those infected with the disease were driven paranoid and insane by the disease which would then often culminate with them killing themselves by clawing their throats out. As a result of this pandemic, the village was often destroyed by Tokyo in many story arcs throughout the series as a means of keeping the disease from spreading throughout Japan.
It is revealed later on that there was never a curse in the first place, and that it was only fabcricated to prevent anyone from leaving the village so that the disease could remain in one place.
- Hinamizawa is based on the real world Japanese village of Shirakawa-go (in Japanese:白川郷 Shirakawa-go). Shirakawa-go's population is actually smaller than Hinamizawa's, having only about 1,864 people (as of 2009) compared to Hinamizawa's 2000. Shirakawa-go is located in Gifu Prefecture, high in the mountains. Like Hinamizawa, most of it is dense forest.