Last Sunday, I visited Shirakawago, located in the mountains that span from Gifu to Toyama Prefectures.
The easiest way to get to Shirakawago is by bus from Kanazawa Station. Tickets should be reserved beforehand as Shirakawago is a popular tourist destination for Japanese and foreigners alike. There’s an office close to the station where you can get your return ticket. The bus ride takes a bit over 1 hour (this may vary depending on traffic and weather conditions) and it’s quite picturesque.
Shirakawago was declared a UNESCO world heritage in 1995 and once you get there, you’ll understand why. This village is famous for its traditional and rare gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means “constructed like hands in prayer”, as the farmhouses’ roofs resemble the hands pressed together in prayer.
This unique architectural style evolved over many generations. Designed to withstand the heavy snows during winter, these large houses have steeply pitched thatched roofs that are strong and also provide a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.
The Shiroyama observation deck is a cool spot for a panoramic view of the village.
Shirakawago has several shops with traditional souvenirs and snacks. I love these small baskets so I bought one for me. The slippers were adorable too, but they didn’t have my size.
If you crave a snack during your walk, try “Senbei”, a type of Japanese rice crackers. They come in various shapes and flavours, usually savory but sometimes sweet.
It was a tad too cold for ice-cream but this Totoro was so cute!
Walk leisurely taking in the views. You just won’t get enough of this magical place.
ありがとう Shirakawago for such a lovely day!
How to get to Shirakawago? Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kanazawa, Bus from Kanazawa to Shirakawago Village . More info HERE
You can stay overnight in one of the Japanese Guest Houses
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