Day 05: Shirakawa-Go (Sep 2017)

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September 20th 2017
Published: December 24th 2017
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Wednesday, 20th September 2017

I hopped on to the Toyama Chitetsu Bus (advanced booking recommended) which would bring me to the Shirakawa-Go village from JR Toyama Station.The short 1-hour commute meant that I did not have to spend a lot of time travelling between places since I am not really a "bus" and "road" traveller. The Shirakawa-Go village is not a very big place as I soon found out after bussing my way to the viewing point for an overview of the place. In winter, the steep roofs would be covered with snow and that would certainly present a very different sight.

Even though this is a UNESCO Heritage Site, I liked that the authorities have not overly exploited the site for tourist dollars. Bus connections to Toyama is still rather infrequent these days with about 4 buses a day in either direction. The result is that the grounds are not littered with people and we could still find some peace and quiet on a limited piece of land. Some of the old houses have been converted to restaurants where I had my delicious soba lunch before heading back to Toyama in the afternoon. There were also others that opened their gates to visitors wishing to understand more about their unique architecture (separate charges apply).

For me, I was contented to soak in the traditional village atmosphere. When it was time for me to return to Toyama, I happily hopped on to my bus where I while the rest of my afternoon in the hotel for my hot bath. In the evening, I caught the Shinkansen to the city of Kanazawa to have dinner and to have a feel of the modern train station that was teeming with people on a weekday evening. I was so glad that I had opted to stay in peaceful Toyama city instead!

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