We’re in the middle of Spring here in Tokyo but it feels like summer already.
Anyway, have I ever mentioned why I don’t post a blog as often as last year? I think I mentioned I got a job in a Destination Management company. Well, now that I mentioned it (again?), I’ve learned quite a lot of destinations to explore here in Japan from working there.
One of the places I’ve been wanting to visit is the Gifu prefecture. I read about Shirakawago being one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites and it’s famous for its heavy snowfall during winter.
This year’s Golden week, I managed to convince K to go out of the house during the week-long holiday.
And why not make Shirakawago our first destination? It’s the farthest place among the attractions we were planning to visit.
It would’ve been great if we were able to visit Shirakawago during winter but since we’re driving, I think It’s a little too risky. I also would not enjoy the cold since I am far too tropical to be enjoying the snow.
However, visiting during this spring was surprisingly not disappointing. All sorts of blossoms were still blooming there, such as Sakura, wisterias and other flowers I cannot name.
They also have a Gassho-style museum near the parking lot, where you can learn everything about this nostalgic town. Also, contrary to popular belief, it was not as crowded as expected.
The town is basically surrounded by mountains with a river next to it. It gained popularity since getting it’s World Heritage status from UNESCO and has been known for its gassho-zukuri structures.
These Thatched roof structures got referred to as “Gassho” style which also means “two hands in prayer”. It’s also unique for not having any metal material used to construct it.
But that’s not what surprised me when we got to walk around the town. Local – private – residents still live here! Like they’re stuck in time! Well, not entirely, some houses covered their aircon but have cars parked beside their Gassho houses.
This town is not the only town in the area which features this kind of living, you can also visit Gokayama. Unfortunately, K and I went too hungry to visit another similar town.
If you’ve heard about Shirakawago or Gokayama and have second thoughts of visiting just because it’s not its popular season, I urge you to pay a visit. You’ll learn a lot about old Japan and its basic architecture.
Shirakawago is a bus away (1 hour or so) from Kanazawa or Takayama. However, If you’re coming all the way from Tokyo get ready for a looooooong drive.
K and I left Tokyo around 2am and had several stops until we reach Shirakawago at 10am. 大変ですけど、とても楽しかったです！
That’s all for Shirakawago, minnasan! You can check out their website to get more information.
PS: Did I mention this was our “first” attraction? There’s more to this “spontaneous road trip 2018, so stick around for my next blog post!