Shirakawago, World Heritage Village and Beautiful Photogenic Site
Shirakawago, Must-see Place for Exploring Japanese Nostalgia & Refleshening
Shirakawago is in a remote area deep in the mountains of central Japan.
Though, many many buses with tourists stop by, and you can hear flurry of various languages. (I suppose most of the people visiting here is not Japanese.)
What is characteristic of all for this village, is that it preserves old wooden “Gassho-zukuri” houses.
Gassho-zukuri houses are peculiar with the steep thatched roof that resembles two hands clasped in prayer. More than 100 gassho-zukuri houses are well-preserved, and are still being used. The village was designated World Heritage Site in 1995, and since it has kept touching the heart of millions of visitors, Shirakawago is one of the best sightseeing place in Japan that travelers want to go.
Feel Fresh in the Beautiful Nature
Many foreigners’ image of Japan might be the neon-glittering metropolitan cities, but in fact, most of Japan is covered with forests.
My most recommended point about Shirakawago is its great beautiful scenery.
Throughout your stay, you can hear the music of the brook, the birds singing, and the sound of wind moving through the forest. The bright green of the forest & the rice field, the colorful flowers, the bright blue sky, and the pleasant old houses will be pleasing to the eye.
In every season, it’s beautiful. The village surrounded by autumn leaves, or even when the deep snow covers the whole landscape.
The rich nature are an unforgettable sight, and are the wonderful place to snap beautiful photos.
What are the “Gassho-zukuri”
Gassho-zukuri houses are the houses with the steep thatched roof that resembles two hands clasped in prayer. The 60-degree angled roofs are steep in order to withstand the heavy snow.
The thatched roof makes the house comfortable, warm in the winter, cool and not humid in the summer.
You can see similar thatched houses throughout Japan, but the characteristic point of the houses here, is that it has the large attic room. The attic room was used for silk cultivation.
There are many other practical and interesting aspects about these houses, so if you are interested in architecture, you’d be very impressed by their ingenuity & wisdom.
There are several buildings you can see inside, and one of them, the Wada House is a sight to see.
Enjoy Strolling, the History, the Culture, the Specialties, and Hot Springs at Shirakawago
There are some other interesting places to visit, like the Doburoku Festival Museum (about the local festival and sake), Gasshozukuri Minkaen (museum to learn more about gassho-zukuri and the local culture), Shiroyama Observatory Deck, local food restaurants (soba, doburoku, tochi, ice cream, cafe…), or hot springs.
To fully experience the village and enjoy the local dishes, be sure to stay at least 3 hours or stay in the guest house in the village.
If you want to rest your legs for a while, you may sit at the riverside.
We don’t know why, but many people get struck by a sense of nostalgia here, and I’m sure you will enjoy visiting Shirakawago, too.
→Related posts about sites in Gifu
Feel free to contact me if you need any further information about Shirakawago or tours around Nagoya.