Thursday, 1 June 2017

Hakusuien, Shirakawa-go, Japan

Who wouldn't be amazed at the beauty of this nice little village located in a river valley in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.  
The atmosphere is just serene and truly a gorgeous village befitting its UNESCO World Heritage status. It's like a scene pulled right out from a post-card.

  We originally planned to stay a night in Shirakawago but unfortunately almost all of the family-run bed and breakfasts known as niinshuku were already booked out. Communication can also be hard if you don't speak Japanese. So we just opted to stay in Kanazawa then take the 8am bus to Shirakawago the next day. It usually arrives around 9:30am. The next bus leaving for Kanazawa in the afternoon is about 3pm so giving us more than enough time to explore the village.

Every winter this beautiful village is transformed into a winter wonderland. I was completely blown away with what I saw. The place is dotted with gorgeous picturesque landscapes in all directions.

 The breathtaking views.
This village has some of the heaviest snowfall in the world, 
with a yearly average of over thirty feet.

Snow, snow, snow...there is nothing like the fresh, crisp, clean air after the snow.
The uniqueness and rarity of these Gassho-style (gassho meaning join one's hands in prayer) houses makes them one of the most important farmhouse types in Japan. This architectural style was designed to easily shed snow from their roofs, a steeply slanting thatched roof resembling two hands joined in prayer. There used to be about 1,800 Gassho-style houses but currently only 150 remain.

Sarubobos are Japanese amulets. They usually come in red human-shaped dolls with no facial features and made in a variety of sizes. Traditionally, sarubobos are made by grandmothers for their grandchildren as dolls and for their daughters as a charm for good marriage and fertility. Nowadays, they are available in different colours.
The red sarubobo~ luck in marriage and fertility.
The blue sarubobo~ luck in work.
 The pink sarubobo~ luck in love.
The green sarubobo~ luck in health.
The yellow sarubobo~ luck in money.
The black sarubobo~ get rid of bad luck.
Hida Minced Beef Cutlet, Hida Beef Meatball Stick

Hida Beef Bun is a must-try in Shirakawago.

Hida Beef on sticks.

Nice warm Green Tea and Sake.

Tofu Dengaku

Shirakawa-go's famous Hida Beef, grilled with fermented soybean paste and magnolia hoba leaves. 
Oh, so delicious! We had to order extras.

Marbled Hida Beef just melts in your mouth. Yum!

Hida Beef, Hoba (Magnolia leaves) Miso Meal

Local grilled fish


Japanese culture is obsessed with cleanliness.
Apart from taking off one's shoes before entering a house, little brooms are placed outside for you to clean your shoes.

Inside a Gassho-style farmhouse.

The hearth.

354, Ono-gun, Shirakawa-mura, Gifu Prefecture

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