We had a casual start on our third-day, with only targetting a day-trip to Shirakawa-Go village area in the morning and Takayama’s preserved old town area (Actually I am typing this with a one-eye, extremely tired). So I have been talking wanting to go to Shirakawa-Go to my husband for quite some time, I really thought it would make a unique destination as well. The village is easily accessible from Kanazawa and Takayama by bus.
From Takayama, we opt for the Nohi Bus company, where the departing/arrival station is right next to the main train station; Takayama Station. The ticket? Well here’s the part that we actually made a mistake. If you do stay at hostels like we do ( We stayed at J-Hoppers Hostel), they sometimes provide package tours which are relatively cheaper and still offers you freedom to roam around. Shirikawa-Go isn’t a big area and could be finished within 2-3 hours. The bus trip which costs 4,880 Yen++ return for two (Almost Rm300.00), takes about 50 minutes to the village area.
Upon arrival at the exit toll, you will be greeted by a very scenic valley, surrounded by mountains and forests (which do have bears as well). The unique architecture comes in to your view in a matter of minutes, and you will notice just how organic the village planning is. This village is a living village, which means, although it is a tourist destination, real people do really actually live here with cars and laundry hanging in their backyard. It is quite a peaceful place, with all the buildings facing in one direction, and are closely-knit to each other.
The atmosphere of the village is truly quiet and calm despite all the tourists around. Perhaps an Architectural blog post will come-up regarding the village organic planning. The weather was somehow hot today, that we spent a little bit more on ice creams and relaxing under the shade before heading back. We climbed up a trail to the observatory deck to capture some of the beautiful views, and we tracked down again to the village center before heading back (and to get another cone of soft ice-cream). There are also museums in the area but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on a budget, the whole place is already like a museum!
I believe Shirakawa-Go is rarely visited by Malaysians, and I would recommend this place for a free and easy trip. The area is full with information and signages, and there are also maps around the area.
Until then, Takayama up next!0