Greeting from Japanese Alps

I am back to WordPress after a long break…!

I took off last Dec for a few month to Asia. My first stop was Japan.

First, I started off to Shirakawa- go, a mountain village in Gifu prefecture. It stands deep in the Japanese Alps. It took me about 5-6 hours from Chubu International airport by a bus. It is very isolated mountain area and gets snowed in heavily. I have heard that it is pretty in the summer as well but the village has this beautiful picturesque view in the snow. I found it very poetic.

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First, we need to cross this river to get into the village. As you can see it is surrounded by mountains. It was drizzling when I visited and snow has melted little.

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This is my travel companion, Yoko (my mum)

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this is village view (below)

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Shirakawa-go is one of the Unesco’s World Heritage sites. It is well know for their style of farmhouse called, “Gaho-zukuri”. The roof reminds of hands in prayer (Buddhism) called Gaho 合掌 in Japanese. They are built without nails. This steep design prevent snow to accumulate on the roof so that even heavy snow will not crash the house.

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This is the inside of a house. (at the Wadas)

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There is a fire place in the center of living room. It was used for both heating and cooking. The old snow shoes (made out of straws) were hanged on the wall.

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As you can see the roof is pretty steep. The stair cases leads up to the upstairs were bit scary.

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Below is by the landing and where windows are. There was rice papered screen partition, called “shoji” for insulation.  It is amazing how they designed a house to keep it warm with such a simple material. very efficient and beautiful design.

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Their spacious attics are used for cultivating silkworms. It was lit up with beautiful orange lights. It was something magical about the space.

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This is the view from the attics

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This village is such as nostalgic place.  It was so beautiful and I would love to visit again.

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