|Picture Source: takayama-hostel.blogspot.com|
We took the Nohi Bus from Kanazawa to Shirakawa-go. It's a scenic drive that took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
|The buses are clean. The drivers don't drive like they just watched Fast and Furious / Initial D |
and they don't have pictures of Michael Schumacher / Ayrton Senna on their windshield!
We checked in at our guesthouse - Gensaku - and began exploring the village.
|It's a 320-year gassho zukuri!|
Although it was already 11 am, some of the shops are not yet open. (They close early too.) As usual, we are not passing up any snacking opportunities~
We heard soba noodles is good here. There is actually a place here where you can make-your-own soba noodles. However, it's closed. Consequently, we went to a local soba restaurant (そば処 乃むら) for lunch.
|The building behind these "Sarubobo" is the Soba Making Experience House.|
It's open from late-April to mid-November. Click here for details.
|There are a few coffee shops in town. I forgot which one my friends went.|
Each has its own characteristics!
|Shuttle bus runs every 20 minutes from 9 am to 3:40 pm.|
JPY200 one way
I discovered a "bar" very close to our guesthouse They close early though (like 5 pm). So if you are the type that starts drinking at 3 in the afternoon, this will be your place :) Otherwise, you can buy the beverage and enjoy it at night at the guesthouse.
|The milk is creamy and sweet and the beef croquette is heavenly.|
A delicious snack for the afternoon.
I also checked out the Myozenji Museum (明善寺郷土館) and the Doburoku Festival Museum (どぶろく祭りの館). The Myozenji Museum displays the farm tools used in the village in the past and the Doburoku Festival Museum showcases what generally happens during the Doburoku Matsuri Festival. The festival is held annually in October so it's nice to check out the museum if you missed the festival. I went there mainly to get a taste for the unfiltered sake. :P
|Myozenji Museum (明善寺郷土館)|
Don't miss out on the souvenir shops. There were quite a few of them in the village and plenty of products offered, including the Sarubobo Doll!
|Sicklepod, considered a weed in many places, is considered a health food here.|
It is believed to possess a laxative effect, as well as to be beneficial for the eyes.
The other thing you can't miss is the hot spring! The hot spring is located inside a hotel - an option for those who didn't want to stay in a traditional gassho house. It's free to the guests who are staying at the hotel and discounted for those who are staying in the village.
|milk pudding after hot springs~|
Shirakawago is a pretty small village. You will only need half a day to explore the village if you don't plan to experience a night in the gassho house. However, the stars are bright at night here since there is minimal light pollution. It's nice to experience a slower pace of life once in a while.