Shirakawa-go, a small town being famous for uniquely designed Gassyo-zukuri buildings, is registered as one of the World Cultural Heritage sites. In Ogi-machi, over one hundred Gassyo-zukuri buildings will welcome visitors. Enjoying the whole landscape of the village from the hill, you will stroll around the village visiting some traditional Gasho-zukuri buidings such as Wada House, Nagase House and Myozenji Temple Museum.
At JR Takayama Station
9:30 JR Takayama station (meeting point)
10:40 Shirakawa-go (Ogi-machi) bus stop
12:00 lunch break
12:40 Wada House
13:20 Nagase House
14:00 Myozenji Temple Museum
15:00 Tea break
15:30 Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine
16;00 Shirakawa-go bus stop
17:30 JR Takayama Station
At JR Takayama Station
Shirakawa-go is a Japanese mountain settlement in what was considered a wild and unexplored region. Because of the area's natural environment, with high mountains and heavy snowfall, interaction with neighboring regions was limited. However, this also created the conditions for the development of unique cultural practices and lifestyles. Now registered as a World Cultural Heritage site, I hope that you will enjoy experiencing the culture and traditions that live on in Shirakawa-go today.
Including the tourist attractions in the itinerary, you will visit many intriguing places as follows, as long as time allows,
The observation point on the hill provides you the best place to overlook the whole landscape of the village of Gassho-style houses. You will get the best of photogenic view.
This is the largest three-story Gassho-style house in the village, which was constructed in around 1800. The second floor and some parts of the first floor are open, and a variety of artifacts and traditional daily-life items are exhibited.
This is one of a few five-story houses and the big thatched roof is impressive. In the first floor, visitors can see the footage-video of re-thatching roof and learn the details of the process with some documents and pictures.
4)Myozenji Temple Museum
The Gassho-style buildings of Buddhist temple are open for visitors as a museum, consisting of three parts; residence, main hall and bell tower gate.
5)Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine
This shrine enshrines the general god protecting Shirakawa-go. The site of the shrine is very calm and good place for travelers to take rests, not disturbed by other travelers.
6)Tajima House of Silk Museum
This house is dedicated to the theme of sericulture (silk farming), which was once one of Shirakawa-go’s key industries. You will learn how to make silk by seeing and touching real ones.
At lunch time, you will enjoy a variety of local cuisine such as Hida-beaf, Ghei-mochi and Japanese backwheat noodles etc.
Guide fee and hotel pick-up
These fees below are both for you and your guide:
Transportation fee about 4,800yen/person
Lunch fee about 1,200 yen/person
Entrance fee about 1,100yen/person
I can guide in Kyoto in case you support transportation fee.
It is possible to arrange plans mixing with visitting Takayama city to your preferences.
We had a very enjoyable 4 hours of hiking in the valley and woods between Magome and Tsumago, or what is known as the Nakasendo trail, with Tetsuji-San. Since the planning stage, Tetsuji answered every question that we had and he suggested route and things to do. He was thorough in his planning. When we met, he gave us brochures and other printed materials about the history of the trail as well as the village, Tsumago, where we will spend a night. Once we arrived at the village where we’d start the walk, he took us to couple of eating places. He encouraged us to try some of the local food. Making sure we had good energy before the walk :). Do try the Gohei-mochi. We had one during our stay in Tsumago. It was delicious and seriously addictive. :) He was knowledgeable and also patient with us during the hiking. Our kids enjoyed to be out and about in nature that they liked to stop frequently to observe some of the things they saw (that was why the 3 hours hiking became almost 4 hours). Throughout the hike he made good effort in explaining about some of the things that we came across and/or the history of the area. He also was able to answer what questions we might have had. A bit of a back story: Few days before our hike, due to June being rainy season in Japan, we monitored the local weather. We got anxious when we learned the local weather bureau predicted that it will be raining and thunderstorm in the area where our hike will be. Even in the morning of the hike, the prediction was still “rain with thunderstorm”. However, with a plan B and lots of preparation, we went ahead and were extremely glad to learn that the only “rain with thunderstorm” that we received during our hike was just a short and very light sprinkle when we arrived at the (Free) Tea House, almost half point of our hike. So, Tetsuji-San’s prediction was better than the Meteorological Agency. Earlier in the morning, he predicted that the rain won’t be as heavy and it would be just a temporary shower but no thunderstorm. He really knows the area well. :) All in all, we were very happy that we had him as our guide for the hike in Nakasendo trail. What a beautiful moment that was! Our family will always cherish our time in Nakasendo trail. Domo arigatou-gozaimasu Tetsuji-San.
I appreciate your excellent review. Yes, the key factor of our tour was the weather. Actually, I had been worried about it considering plan B until the tour started, but we had the best day for walking in the end. I can’t help realizing that you and your family members brought such a fortune for yourselves. I hope you will visit central Japan,especially Gifu, again. I am really looking forward to seeing you.
We did the Magome to Tsugama section of the nakasendo trail tetsuji arrive punctually at the hotel where we stayed to meet us and the meat are we to magome efficiently and quickly without any delays and extremely comfortable SB decided to choose riding reserved seats in the train. Also he advised a taxi from the train station to the start point so as to not wait more than 20 minutes for the next bus. It was good advise as we had lots more time to enjoy the trek. He was informative and made great attempt to answer our questions! Some perhaps too botanical! He recommended a few local snacks which were delightful and ended with coffee before returning to Nagoya. He spent 9 hours with us and returned to Nagoya with us where we parted ways. All together we had a very pleasant day and were blessed with excellent weather!
Thank you for quick review. I am so relieved to know that you are satisfied with my tour and guiding. Actually, I enjoyed myself walking through pleasant communication with you and your wife.I have also noticed that I should have lots of subjects to study and prepare for guests. I repeatedly thank you again and look forward to seeing you again.
Tetsuji is great guided tours. He took us to wonderful places and a good restaurant. I recommend him very much Gil
Thank you for the quickest review. I am grateful for your good words. I hope you will stay happy and fit. Thank you again and take care.
Very happy to tour with Tetsuji-san! We arranged a visit to Mino for traditional Washi (paper) crafts, as well as Seki for the Sword museum and a knife making factory tour. In addition to planning a great day in Mino & Seki, he helped keep us on schedule with trains, arranged a delicious lunch, and did a great job of answering our questions. After the trip, Tetsuji was kind enough to send us pictures he had taken of us during the day to help with the memory book of our vacation. Excellent communication during pre-trip planning, as well as during the day of our trip. It was such a relief to have Tetsuji with us in these areas of Japan less traveled by tourists. Highly recommended!
Thank you so much for your great review, Charlene. I am happy to have known that you and Kyle seemed to have enjoyed realizing some Japanese culture throughout my guided tour. I hope you will visit Japan again and spend some happy time with me someday.