We visited Shirakawago for a one-night homestay, arriving in the late afternoon, and leaving the following afternoon. I had never seen falling snow before, and this was the place to do it! I was thrilled enough by the first few flakes on our first night, but awakening the next morning to a massive dump of powdery white snow was truly magnificent. Staying in town meant we were onsite before the day-trippers and bus-tours arrived, meaning we had a pristine environment around us from the previous night's snowfall. Truly one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. There is little in the way of English translations within the Gassho House Museum itself (ie all video presentations are in Japanese, obviously, but no headphones or subtitles available), but the scenery and photography opportunities made it an amazing place to visit anyway. The outdoor nature of this site (you walk around a community of old, thatched roof farmhouses) and the heavy snow makes this site unsuitable for people in wheelchairs, or using pushers or prams during winter. It is located very close to the bus station, where these is bathrooms, luggage storage and vending machines, and there is a shop / food outlet at the entrance to the park. An easy day trip from Takyama, the bus ride in is about 30-45 minutes from memory.
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