Friday, January 29, 2016

The Historic Village of Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go is a traditional village in Gifu Prefecture. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site made famous by its "gassho-zukuri" farmhouses. The roofs of these farmhouses look like hands in prayer and are designed to withstand heavy snowfall. The village's proximity to Hida-Takayama makes it a good day trip destination.

From Hida-Takayama, there are buses that go straight to Shirakawa-go. The hostel where I stayed offers a half-day tour (JPY3900 to hostel guests and JPY4400 to non-guests) which costs less than round-trip bus tickets and I booked that tour.

We left Hida-Takayama at 8am and arrived at Shirakawa-go at 9am. The bus ride was scenic except when we were passing through tunnels. We first went to the observatory where you can see the whole village. 

Afterwards, we proceeded to the town proper and we were given two hours to explore the village by ourselves.
Another hanging bridge

The village is small so two hours was just enough to explore it and there's still enough time to have a look at the numerous souvenir shops.

They have a koi pond!

In Shirakawa-go, there are a few houses open to the public and serves like a museum. The tour guide suggested that we only visit one since they're pretty much the same inside anyway. I went to the Wada House (JPY300), which is apparently the biggest house there. Before entering, you take off your shoes and take a pair of indoor slippers.

Wada House from the outside

Tatami room inside the Wada House


Second floor

It was cloudy and a bit rainy when I went there. The sun started to shine right we were about to leave to go back to Hida-Takayama but that was also the time when tourists started pouring out. The tour was actually informative and not at all restricting. However, if you want to be more flexible with your time, better get the bus tickets by yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment