Shirakawago - Gifu

Located in Gifu Prefecture, Shirakawago (白川郷) is a famous historical mountain village in the northwestern part of the Hida Region. 

Shirakawago (白川郷)

Shirakawago History

The name Shirakawa is taken from the traditional Japanese name of the region during ancient times.  Throughout time the region and its territories were reorganized and renamed. The name Shirakawa was then taken by the small mountain village which would then be included in the present-day Hida Region. Shirakawago's history dates back to around 1176 when its name first appeared in historical texts. However, artifacts like pottery which dates back to 7000-2300 BCE were excavated in the area. 

Shirakawago - Gifu Prefecture

Shirakawago as seen from Ogimachi Castle Ruin Observation Deck

Check out the manhole cover of Shirakawago!

Gassho-style houses near paddy fields

When the silk and gunpowder industry flourished in the village during the Edo era, the locals started to improve their homes. They created distinct large roofed houses that are suited for the seasonal conditions in the village particularly the heavy snowfall during winter. This design evolved into its current form around 1800. These unique houses are called gassho-style houses. It has a characteristically steep-sloped thatched roof known as the sasu structure. These houses resemble hands meeting in prayer. Surprisingly, some of the houses built centuries ago still stand today. 

My wife and daughter seem to be enjoying this trip.

Check out those scarecrows

It was quite tiring walking around the town so make sure that you rest once in a while

Check out the tourist map of Shirakawago

Walking the streets of Shirakawago

The historic and picturesque village of Shirakawago was finally registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1995. Two years later, the Shirakawago World Heritage Site Gassho Style Preservation Trust was established to ensure that the village would be preserved for future generations. Since then, Shirakawago has become one of the most visited places in Gifu Prefecture.

Places to See and Visit in Shirakawago:

Deai Bridge

Myozenji Museum

Myozenji Temple

Ogimachi Park

Ogimachi Castle Ruin Observation Area

Wada House

Jin Homura Art Museum

I finally got to visit Shirakawago last May 31, 2018, during our 15th day in Japan. It wouldn't be possible if not for our Japanese family who brought us on a road trip to the Hida Region. This was our first destination on the said trip.

Gotta love Japan's manhole covers

Special thanks to our Japanese family for this super special trip

Overall, our visit to Shirakawago was one for the books. It was a dream come true for me, I remember so well when I first saw a postcard of the village a few decades back. Who would have known that I'd be seeing this place with my own eyes? 

Why visit Shirakawago?

Shirakawago remains to be one of the top places that I highly recommend for those planning to visit Japan. Shirakawago gives one a different "Japan Experience" away from the neon lights and the crowds of the big cities.

Getting to Shirakawago:


From Tokyo Station, ride the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Toyama Station. From there transfer to a bus to Shirakawa-go. 
Travel cost = ¥12730.

Ratings: 
Crowd
Cleanliness

Overall rating

Comments

  1. Wow!! This looks so so so amazing!! I would love to go here and just take it all it. It's so beautiful!!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you get to visit Shirakawago as well.

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  2. Beautiful photos! Looks like a beautiful place!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this urban life of Japan, seems quite interesting, some day might go there, looks like you have fun too

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    1. Hi Winter. Yes we did have some fun here. Shirakawa-go is a must visit. You should head here too!

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  4. What a beautiful little Village. Looks like it would be fun for the whole family. I enjoyed seeing your photos too. :-)

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    1. Thanks Laura. =) I hope you could visit the place as well when you are in Japan.

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  5. I must say, you made my day with an article on gifu shirakawa.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Okay wow, now this is definitely on my list of places to go to! The village looks beautiful!

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    1. Please do visit Shirakawa-go. You'd surely love it.

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  7. awww you're daughter is adorable! This looks like an epic trip! One for the bucket list for sure. Loved all the beautiful pictures.

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  8. The houses remind me a little bit of Houses in Zakopane (small city in south of Poland)
    This is also where are the mountains :)

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    1. Now you made me google the Zakopane and true enough the gassho style houses of Shirakawa-go really do look like those in Poland.

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  9. What a cute place to go visit. I love that the manholes are details. I've never heard of this place but it looks like you and your family had a wonderful time!

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    1. We sure did. You should visit Shirakawa-go. It's listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Japan. You'd love it.

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  10. One of the main reasons I love travel bloggers are because I would never know of some of these places without yall

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog Jessica. I hope my article inspired you to travel more.

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  11. The villiage looks absolutely beautiful! I'm glad to learn more about Shirakawa-go.

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  12. I love reading about your travels, thanks for sharing.

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  13. I adore how cute these houses are! I like their shape and the materials they are made out of. This looks like a great little village to visit, I love following along with your travels!

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    1. Is sure is. =) Not only are they cute, the are historical as well. =)

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  14. Welcome to the Chubu region, glad you enjoyed your stay! I haven't been to Shirakawa-go but my students have. I am not into tourism and rather be on my computer and watching TV shows in Japanese. Maybe I will go when my sister goes.

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    1. Hello aisasami. Thank you. Chubu region is really amazing. You should visit it with your sister, =)

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  15. The village looks amazing, the architecture is beautiful, and I like the fields, and the nature, these hidden gems are why people travel, it's good to see not all villages became abandon or something, glad your dream came true, xD by reading your blog I just realized my list for places to visit in Japan just keeps getting longer and longer xD

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    1. Same here, I've constantly researched about places to visit in Japan and it seems like the list is endless. Gotta love going back there to explore more.

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  16. What a beautiful place! The city looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing it's history and all the detail about this place. I would love to plan to visit there and spend my vacations.

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog Elizabeth. I do hope you get to visit Shirakawago someday.

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  17. The detail of that manhole cover is truly amazing! What an amazing place to visit!

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    1. I do agree with you Nina. I'm actually on a quest in Japan to see all these manhole covers.

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  18. Wow, what a beautiful part of the world .

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