Hello!! I’m really sorry for missing in action again recently. Works has been quite hard recently, but I’m enjoying my life so far.
Probably some of you remember that I wrote something about Takayama last winter, where I went to see the old town and Shirakawago light-up. Well, if you don’t remember, you can always see my older posts here and here.
Last summer, I brought my parents to Takayama again. It was on late September, so it was almost the end of summer and the heat was not that strong. Actually, the weather in Takayama that time was quite breezy.
This time I went with the bus from Shinjuku. It’s quite cheap compared to taking a shinkansen to Nagoya and then take a bus from Nagoya to Takayama. The bus departed from Shinjuku station at 7AM and we arrived at Takayama around 1PM.
We did quick strolling in the old town and went to grab a meal around the old town.
Then we go past this little temple. Around this temple, there is a small local tour office. We decided to book a half-day tour to shirakawago the next day because I was too tired to arrange the transport. With the tour, the tour bus will pick you up and they also provide an English-speaker guide. The fee for the tour is around 4000¥ ish per person for half day tour. For full day tour, you have to pay more (9000¥ ish, but they will take you to Gokayama as well)
Since we have plenty of time, I brought them to Hida Folks Village 飛騨の里. I remember last winter they have Totoro snow statue. They did not have the Totoro this time, but the view was also stunning!
During the winter, this lake is frozen. But now you can see all the green scenery. I’ll put the comparison in winter and summer below.
My mom and dad. People say I look like my daddy more.
I really amazed on how people build such a big house like that in the past. I mean they have no cement and all they use are hays and wood, yet the building remains solid until present time.
You can go inside each house. In this place, they put the owner’s name in the direction board. Some of the house have this stamp rally place where you can collect the stamp (usually the kids do this, but I did that too lol)
Lastly, don’t forget to try the Hidagyu! It’s the local specialty.
The next day, we went to Shirakawago with the tour. Our guide, Yamamoto-san is really funny. Yes, his English might not be perfect but he kindly explained all the things on the way to Shirakawago.
Last winter, I wanted to go to the observatory deck, but it was closed due to severe weather. Guess what, the tour brought us to the observatory point (展望台）
Shirakawago from the observatory deck is really stunning! It looks like a miniature!
Looks like a painting!
I could not stop taking a lot of pictures lol. I even managed to take a few snaps of myself hehe 🙂
Oh ya! Our tour depart at 7 AM and arrived around 8AM. Because it’s quite early, there was less people in the observatory deck. If you plan to go with the tour, I recommend you to take the morning tour. They only give you 10 mins in the deck, buut it was more than enough.
Then the bus took us to the village. Yamamoto-san recommended route to enjoy Shirakawago, which is go to the main road, up to Honda’s house（本田家）then go to the museum to try the traditional alcoholic drink (I do not remember the name, but it tastes good).
The bus stops in front of this bridge. I barely seen anything during the winter because it was too dark lol. The atmosphere during winter and summer is really different. It was hard for me to take picture on winter because it was too cold. And if you went there during the light-up, it was even harder because it was quite dark.
And this was the picture I took on winter
Shirakawago is listed as UNESCO world heritage site, so if you go to Takayama you should not visit this village too.
To find Honda’s house is not that hard. It is the biggest house in the main road. If you decide to go in, you have to pay additional 300¥. The owner is really kind. In this house, you can have green tea as much as you want.
Honda house is 3 (or 4) stories home. They separate the private and public area. We can only go around the public area. I went up to the top floor, but it was too cold. In the first floor, they have traditional heater, but the higher floor is quite cold. Not to mention the stairs were not convenient. My parents gave up at 2nd floor.
Those pictures are taken from the 3rd floor. You have to be careful when you climb to the top because the ceiling is quite low. However, the view from top floor is mesmerising.
We only spent 2 hours in the village. The limited amount of time is the demerit when you go by tour. We can’t even buy any souvenir or try the food vendor at the village.
We managed to go to the museum and try the drink, but unfortunately the photos I took in the museum were not in good quality due to the lightning.
Overall, we did enjoy the tour to Shirakawago. Let me recap the pros and cons going with the tour:
- No need to arrange your own transportation
- Guide provided. The guide ca recommend you the best spot to go.
- The amount of time spent in the village is limited.
From Takayama, we jumped in to the express train that brought us to Tooyama. I’ll write about it in the next post.
Thank you for reading, and see you in the next post!