Wednesday, October 28, 2015

JAPAN TRAVEL : OGIMACHI GASSHO STYLE HOUSES, SHIRAKAWAGO

village by the hills

Just like painting! Lovely house with golden readily to harvest rice field and beautiful cosmo flowers dancing lively. Smells of fresh air, green vegetable farms and fish ponds readily to accept the life cycles on earth.

Shirakawago has kept the village unspoiled and well preserved for centuries. This area of steep thatched roved farmhouses gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in year 1995.
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houses in Japan

How to go to Shirakawago by bus from Kanazawa?


I took Highway Express Bus.
- Kanazawa Station East Exit Bus Terminal Platform 2 . Departs at 8:10am (reservation is required. I just reserved it on the night before my trip)
- Total journey to Shirakawago from Kanazawa is around 1hours and 15 minutes.

flowers

Buy the map from the tourist information center 100 JPY. Then enjoy the walking guide from the map. Cross the bridge to get to the village. Just walk around and enjoy the beautiful view of this village while taking a deep breathe of fresh air.
Gassho-style farmhouses

The people of these Gassho-style or "Praying hands" style farmhouses were cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time and survived the harsh winters through the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silk worms.

flowers and koi fish

Wada house

I visited Wada house which history way back since year 1573. Just pay some entrance fees  which I am not mistaken around 300 JPY. Wada family assumed the role of headman during Edo period and was official at the guard station. This family prosper from its potassium nitrate business. In 1888 Yaemun Wada was appointed the first mayor for this village which make Wada house is the largest of Gassho Zukuri settlement in Shirakawago. mmmmmm.... rich people 's house le.

historical houses

Stepping into this house, one can feel and smells the Edo period sense.

wooden houses

The shiny black ceiling shows how many hundreds of years passed which people lived and earned their livelihood in this place. The horizontal timbers are tied to the sloping vertical timbers using branches of the mansaku tree known as neso. One thing about this type of build up, the roof of Gassho Style house is flexible enough to move with natural forces such as strong wind. Sigh!! who can win the natural forces?   

village houses

After the Wada house, I thought of finding my way to the best view to take photo. But....

Since I am always bad at reading the map. Serious, most of the time I just follow the crowd even one or two people to gain confident that I was at the right place. This time...haihhhh...where were all those crowd??? No time to waste! 

Just walked as I like and end up at this kind of routes. Damn it! I need to watch out for bear some more. OMG!

Nervous! at the same time enjoy the vegetable farms view in front of me.

village

Lovely view! Nobody walked this way though. mmmmm....tried to stay positive.
Good : Peaceful , discover nice view and so far no bear appear in front of me yet
Bad : Did I get lost here? WTH!

flowers

The more I walk, the view getting better and better. I just can't stop appreciating the beautiful scene in front of me.

flowers and fruit

What more can I ask for?
Even if I lost my way...I will be thankful for that. WTH! lol

rural village

Thank God! I found my way. Its just I took a very long detour else where and found better view than other people.



village

Although Shirakawago is designated as World Heritage Site , it is also a living village where people spend their daily lives. So...for us visitors, please respect other people living space.

farm produce

I think I walked longer than other people since I use the toughest routes. WTH! I then found one of the house selling fresh tomatoes from farm. I bought one for 200 JPY. Even a tomato feel so delicious in this environment. Oh Gosh!

That beautiful hanging chilies to chase away evil spirit!

scarecrows in the paddy field

This is one of the cafe sells coffee,  red bean soup and rice cakes. I love the cafe so lovely! But so many people in that small cafe. I cannot enter pack small space . Afraid I cannot breathe! Phobia!

building with vines

I just adore this place from outside. Imagine this is cafe make from cookies and candies. Like the one in Hansel and Gretel story book. Nice eh?

grilled rice cakes and dango

Since I planning to stop at Takayama later which means long way to go....I better grab quick bites. I found this stall selling grilled rice cakes and dango in soyu right across the 'hansel and gretel' cafe. Yummy!!!! 

Bottom right : Lost Cowboy at Shirakawago! This is what I say touring in style. I saw he have gun with him too. WTH! 


village

Time to say goodbye to this beautiful place.I spend half day enjoying the beautiful view of ancient and nature. I really wish this is well preserved till the end. With its old Japan atmosphere, Shirakawago is beautiful anytime of year but many say the best is in autumn and winter. 

To me, wondering around this place is like walking into the fairy tale book, I read during my younger age.

I then took the bus to Takayama and explore another site of Japan. Check out next post!

Few of my readers message me for my Japan itinerary. Don't worry! I will summarize everything in my last post by end of next week.

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