I was born a tropical girl, and, like most tropical girls, get crazy at the sight of snow. This is quite ironic, since my social media handles have always been "snauw" (snow + nau) and wynterflakes. You'd think I've loved snow my whole life, and well, I always have. It's what they meant in the song "I knew I loved you before I met you", for those who still know who Savage Garden are. (I see people rolling their eyes)
Shirakawa-go is a World Cultural Heritage Site located in Gifu, Japan. It is known for its Christmas village-postcard-like image during winter, but it is equally beautiful all season round.
However, Shirakawa-go is not an easily accessible tourist spot. I'm not usually one to join tour groups or packages, but there was no way we were driving through the snow. So we booked a package which included the hotel, bus, and tour through Shirakawa-go.
We also didn't make full use of our 2-day weekend either. On Saturday, from Shinjuku, we took the bus at 10am, and after 2 stopovers, we reached Takayama (a village near Shirakawa-go) at 4pm (that's 6 hours of travel!) and they allowed us to walk around the area for 1 hour.
Aren't these snowmen the freaking cutest?
After which we already headed back to the hotel (which was surprisingly big, for a 和室/わしつ/Japanese style room) and at the hotel, we had dinner for roughly an hour. At around 7pm, we took the bus again with tummies full to go to the light-up event at Shirakawa-go.
We were not disappointed. It was really pretty! In addition to that, it snowed very softly, creating a perfect photo opportunity too!
After the touring the place for about an hour, we were brought back again to the hotel (which took another hour). We had a great rest after the onsen too!
The following morning after checking out of the hotel at 9am, we again went to Shirakawa-go in order to see it in all its broad, all-white daylight glory! And it was just as beautiful!
And a "Gassho Zukuri" sculpted on the pile of snow, which is what they call these houses.
The warm mochi was really comforting to eat in the freezing weather!
We were allowed to wander the area a bit longer and left at 12pm, to have lunch. If you love Wagyu, you'd know that there isn't only one kind of Wagyu! Takayama is also famous for its Hida Gyu--another type of Wagyu, and it was so yummy!! After lunch was the end of our tour, as it also started snowing heavily (which I loved).
We then came back to at Shinjuku 7pm, closing off the whole weekend.
It was tiring, but for me, it was so worth it. It's a place in Japan you should visit at least once especially if you are a frequent traveller in the country.