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“looks better in winter, looks better in postcards”

Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen
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2-Day Tateyama Kurobe Route: Shirakawago, Hida-Takayama from Nagoya
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Reviewed January 7, 2014

Personally felt it was some what overrated. But had a good time there snow fighting with my 10yo daughter. Many package tours there on the day I was there. Despite the tourist office saying that the short cut to the observation point on the hill side was closed, I walked up there (with my daughter) without any issue. But you are forewarned that it got slippery.

Thank Fau1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 96 of 326 reviews

Reviewed January 6, 2014

If you see the pictures and liked it, you will like it 10x more when you are there.

Not one of my friends did not like the pictures that i've sent to them- the place is really beautiful especially in the early morning.

We stayed there one night. Reached the town after dark (and heavy snow), left in the morning (10:45 bus). So, yeah, nothing much to do but i would strongly recommend anyone who wants to visit to stay a night. It is VERY beautiful at night and early morning. When the crowds start to stream in, it kind of spoil the mood a bit.

If you are ever in the Takayama area, please stop by and stay a night.

Thank CY F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Not wanting to spend 1 hour each way (plus pay for it) in a bus to visit Shirakawago and then go over the same ground again to get to Kanazawa, we found out (thanks Tripadvisor forum) that we could catch a Nohi bus from Takayama to Shirakawago, store our luggage in HUGE lockers (Y600 accommodated 2 large suitcases and 2 packs) see the UNESCO town and then catch the afternoon bus to Kanazawa. This decision was well worth it and made for a most enjoyable travel day. Some comments said stay overnight. If you are doing a slow trip of Japan, maybe to get a different feel of the place, however we were very happy with our 4ish hours and yes it is well worth visiting. We took the first bus out of Takayama (0850 hours - this bus does not need to be reserved - buy your ticket on the day of departure (or before as the ticket queques can be long), queque up and if there are too many booked for one bus they put on a second so don't panic if they queque is very long which it was on the day we went) which arrived around 9.00, we spent 2 - 3 hours wandering around then ate our sandwich lunch (which we had brought from Takayama but there are plenty of restaurants if you would rather eat in) and read our books on the banks of the stunning river that the town resides on, before catching the 1350 hours Nohi bus (this bus must be reserved) to Kanazawa arriving around 1500 hours. The village itself is a remote working village in the mountains (much of the bus ride is going through tunnels) and the gassho houses are interesting. The leaves were starting to turn into autumnal tones when we were there at the end of October. I would definitely recommend this as a stopover visit, the place had an aura of calm, quaintness and is extremely well cared for, not a blade of grass out of place. And amazingly you pay nothing to visit the town, just a few yen to go into a few "show houses" if you wish to - as an aside if you have visited the Hida Village in Takayama you have a good understanding of these gassho houses so this entrance fee albeit modest can be saved if you are on a tight budget. Two other items of note - do take the mini bus to the observation area (it leaves from the "town carpark" - sit at the back of the bus it is Y100 rather than Y200 and the ride is less than 5 minutes) and you get a fabulous overview of the houses in the valley then wander down into the town to explore in more detail (you can walk both ways but it is "a way" and probably not for all but the fit and extremely keen. Secondly the Nohi bus is extremely comfortable, with on board toilet. The overhead racks are narrow so put any "fat" packs in the bag storage under the bus or you will be squashed if the bus is full.

15  Thank Myclare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

We wish to spend more time in this well preserve open air museum. The museum is a collection of gassho farmhouse style in Shirakawago area. The houses are well maintained. There are information about the stories in each house, unfortunately they are mostly in Japanese. Still, the museum is worth a visit.

Thank Saksatien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

A nature trip and fascinating how this place was being preserved to this day. It is like an Alpine village tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A truly must visit as this village thrives on tourists,

We just cannot get enough of taking pictures of their gassho houses surrounded by lush greenery and clear running stream.

Purely a natural and pollution free environment.

A pleasant place to retreat and commune with nature.

Thank levyrox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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