This is the most romantic place in Japan, I think. It is also declared as UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. Shirakawa Go is well known for their traditional farmhouses, which are more than 250 years old. This place is located beside the Gokayama region at Gifu prefecture. The word 白川郷 “Shirakawa Go” are from three words in Japanese. The word 白 “Shira” means white, the word 川 “kawa” means river, and the word 郷 “Go” means village in Japanese. So, it literally means white river village in Japanese.
Photo: bryan... on FlickrMountains surround this village. Mountains and forests account for 96% of the area and the reaming 4% is cultivated land. As I said before, the most well known part from this village is the farmhouses. They are constructed in gassho zukuri style. It literally means “prayer hands construction” style in Japanese. They are farmhouses with steep thatched roofs, which represent the hands of Buddhist minks pressed together in prayer. Their design is really strong that its roof can withstands the weight of the heavy snowfalls during winter in Japan. Surprisingly, the roofs are constructed without nails.
Photo: Simon Desmarais on FlickrWhy I can say that this village is really romantic then? If you have ever seen this village view during winter, you will know what I mean. I love the shape of its roof with snow above it, especially the night view of this village. You can see the romantic white color of the snow combining with the roof’s shape, and also with the light up during some seasons there.
When To Go
You Light Up My World
This is should be the most important thing. I recommend you to go there during winter day, and if it is possible go there during New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve. Why? Because there will be light up there. I have gone there before around January, and it was really beautiful scenery that I have ever seen. Don’t forget to bring your camera too!
How To Go There
Photo: bryan... on FlickrIf you want to go there from Tokyo, you can take train from Tokyo to Nagoya for 2 hours, and then take train from Nagoya to Takayama for 2 hours too. After you arrive at Takayama, you can take the shuttle bus to Shirakawa Go for around 50 minutes. For more information about the bus from Takayama to Shirakawa Go, you can check the link, here.
Photo: bryan... on FlickrFor the accommodation, I recommend you to take the “Minshuku” or known as guesthouse in Japanese. For the price, it costs around 7000 yen to 10000 yen per one night. Some of them also have hot spring facility too. If you want to look for this “Minshuku”, you can check the link, that will help you a lot.
Photo: bryan... on FlickrI really recommend you to go to this beautiful village, especially for photographers. You can also enjoy the hot spring there during winter season. For more information about this Shirakawa Go, you can check the link for more details.
So, what are you waiting for? Go there and have a romantic view of this beautiful Shirakawa Go.