Shirakawa-go, the UNESCO World Heritage Site
A UNESCO world heritage site which is very well known for its fairy tale-liked winter scene, with snowy white powdery snow fluffs over the roof of little huts and the whole area. Very picturesque and very unreal if get to witness it.
For Full itinerary, check out Japan Trip 2018: 10D9N in Nagoya, Matsumoto, Toyama, Takayama & Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route
Shirakawa-go is easily assessable form Nagoya and Takayama. If you are around these areas, do not miss out Shirakawa-go in your list.
My family and I travelled to Shirakawa-go from Takayama. As the transportation is not included in our pass (JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass), we bought the bus ticket separately. However, if you looking for the pass that cover the bus to Shirakawa-go, do check out this JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass.
We boarded the Niho Bus from Takayama Bus Terminal bound to Shirakawa-go. The one-way journey took about 50 minutes. It costs ¥ 4,420 for a returned ticket. Once you arrived at the SHirakawa-go Bus Terminal, grab a piece of map from the tourist information counter and you are off to enjoy slowly.
First thing we did – took the Observatory Sightseeing Shuttle Bus (¥ 200 per way) straight to the observatory deck to get a clear full view of the whole village.
Alternatively, you may choose to walk up from the main village. As I was travelling with the family, I opted to take the bus up and walk down from the observatory deck.
THIS WAS SO UNREAL, seeing it with my own eyes.
I believe you will agree with me if you have seen this! Up here at the observatory deck, you get the panoramic view of the whole village with snowy mountain as the background.
The winter scene is magical and very fairy tale-liked. However, the spring has its own charm too, like now.
Still managed to catch a glimpse of sakura around end of April last year. Of course, every year will be different ya.
Stroll down from the Observatory Deck to explore the village. Do check out the manhole along the way. So cute.
These little huts are the traditional gassho-zukuri style farmhouses which looks like “praying hands” that have been around since 1800s. These traditional houses are built without the use of nails! How amazing!!!
A touristy shot like this is needed.
There are a few museums here where you can study these amazing houses, namely Wada House and Kanda House. You get to understand the architectural style and its features too.
Entrance fee: ¥ 300 each.
Myozenji Temple Museum housed the monk’s residence who has now turned into museum, the bell tower gate and the main hall.
Explore the main street for souvenirs, snacks and food. There are a line of goods for you to check out and bring them home. I spent some coins on postcards, fridge magnet and also some titbits.
We spent half day here chilling around, then took Nohi bus back to Takayama. Remember to make reservation on your bus ride as you can see from the photo above, it was quite packed when we made ours.