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Culture & History


Shirakawa-go Shirakawa-go
Shirakawa-go Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go — beautiful under a blanket of snow


Discover Japan’s old-world charm at Shirakawa-go. The picturesque village is typified by the steep, thatched roofs of the gassho-zukuri houses and the rice fields that surround them. Many of the houses have been turned into museums for visitors to learn about Shirakawa-go’s history — it used to be a center of silk and gunpowder production — and some are open for guests to stay overnight. The small hamlet’s appearance changes dramatically with the seasons. When snow falls in winter, the village is at its most striking, as warm light spills out of the buildings' shoji screens onto the pure white surroundings. In January and February, the town is lit up at night, offering visitors a different and quite romantic view of the winter scenery. This has proved so popular in recent years that visitor numbers are now limited, so booking ahead is advised.


How to get there


The closest rail station to Shirakawa-go is Takayama on the JR Takayama Line, which runs from Nagoya to Toyama. From Takayama, take a bus from the Takayama Bus Center to Shirakawa-go. There are 16 buses every day, and the journey to the village takes approximately 50 minutes.


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