On day 10, we would be checking out of Ryokan Tanabe and went to Shirakawa-go, then came back to Takayama for another night at Takayama Kanko Hotel. I had hoped that we would be able to see some snow falls at Shirakawa-go, unfortunately that has not been the case. Having seen pictures of traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, I already made up my mind that we had to go there. And that being one of the reasons why we had not spent a night at Miyajima 🙂
Takayama, as it’s location in the mountain, was freezing cold in the morning – but wait until we got to Shirakawa-go, it was even more so! During our short time at Shirakawa-go, it was mostly cloudy and heavy snow fall was forcasted for the night and next few days. What a shame, had we come here one day later, I would have experienced the snow fall. But that’s ok, at least we got to walk around the town easily without having to worry about slippery road, right?
The bus ride from Takayama to Shirakawa-go took about 50 minutes passing through highways with mountains view. When you get to Shirakawa-go, make sure to book a return bus ticket right away. We did not know about this and we went to explore the town right away. By the time we came back to the bus station, we were told the next bus was already full and we should wait for the next one. Not that it made much difference because buses run regularly approximately about every 30 minutes. But, it was freezing standing outside waiting for the bus and 30 minutes felt much longer!
Shirakawa-go was declared as UNESCO world heritage site in 1995 and famous for its traditional gassho-zukuei farmhouses. The steep thatched roofs of those farmhouses resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in praying, and hence the name gassho-zukuri. But, the practical reason of this construction was to withstand heavy snow fall especially during the winter season. Another highlight of the roof was that it was made without nails, and with such construction it provides an attic space to cultivate silkworms.
Here is the short clip of our time exploring Ogimachi, the main attraction and largest village of Shirakawa-go.
We arrived back at Takayama around 2 pm and were starving. Because the shuttle pick up from Takayama Kanko hotel would come around 3, we had one hour or so for lunch. And of course while in Takayama, we just had to have Hida beef for lunch 🙂 We finished lunch, walked back to the station and waited few minutes then the shuttle came. And off we went to Takayama Kanko hotel, detailed review will be on the next post again.
What we ate on Day 10
Obviously you had seen our breakfast from Ryokan Tanabe in the previous post, but in case you have not then here it is:
Then we bought these at Shirakawa-go:
For lunch, we went to Hidagyu Maruaki not far from Takayama Station and opted for beef yakiniku. Ah the best beef meal we had in Japan or possibly so far in my life. The meat was so fresh and tender and literally melt in your mouth. It really was that good and I am not exaggerating. We ordered the Hida Premium Beef Plate, Grade A5 Beef Cubes, and sake to share. Those Grade A5 beef cubes were really worth paying extra for if you could set some budget for it. Total spent here was ¥10,140.
This bottled pudding stole my attention while waiting for bus to Shirakawa-go, but we only bought it when we came back. This pudding was made from Sukune Kabocha, a type pumpkin produced in the Hida Takayama area. The texture was smooth and rich without being too sweet. Perfect treat for afternoon tea 🙂
For dinner, again it was a kaiseki meal from Takayama Kanko – stay tuned for full review in the next post 🙂
Hidagyu Maruaki – Takayama Branch
Takayama-cho, Takayama-shi, Gifu Prefecture 6-8