Shirakawago – The most beautiful villages of Japan

We travelled to Shirakawago with our Japanese friend by car. The road that lies parallel to a river all over the way to Shirakawago was very quiet. The panoramic view of the river reflecting the surrounding mountains was really beautiful.

The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō is located in the Shogawa river valley of Gifu Prefecture, Japan. This place was recognized as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO in 1995. Shirakawago is one of the most scenic places in Japan. The unique Japanese- thatched roof farmhouses are the centre of attraction of this place. Even in this age of modernization, this village still preserves the old community houses of Japan with its eternal beauty blending with nature. There are about 180 farmhouses, sheds, and barns in Shirakawago. Omigachi is the most important among the villages of Shirakawa-go.

In Omigachi village.
The beauty of nature – the mountains, flowers, paddy fields, the river and the beautiful houses, will give the visitors a great relaxation to both mind and body. From the parking area, we walked along the streets of the village and crossed the hanging bridge above the Shogawa river.

There is a temple and some museums displaying traditional agricultural and household items of ancient Japan. Since it was an early summer season, the paddy cultivation has just started and we could see the farmers planting paddy seedlings. It was interesting to watch them planting each seedling as if some straight lines are drawn over there. Many small vegetable gardens and green -houses were also found there.

We got many scenic photographs throughout our way – farmhouses behind the paddy fields, gardens and the trees, those behind a pond of red Lotus and so on.  The Minshuku(Japanese style farm houses) will allow the visitors to stay one full night inside it and not more in the same house. It is said that the night beauty of this place is one of the awesome experiences in Shirakawago.

Shiroyama Viewpoint

As the place is surrounded by mountains, obviously the viewpoint is situated on a hilltop where we were walking to.  While walking to the viewpoint located above the mountain, we could enjoy the beauty of the village at various heights. Vehicles can also climb up to the viewpoint. We could see the entire village of Omigachi with more than 50 thatched roof houses from the Shiroyama viewpoint which is located in the northern part of the village. The beautiful farmhouses, rice fields, trees etc. surrounded by mountains full of pine trees- the scene from there resembles some beautiful paintings.

The souvenir shops here has many traditional handmade items and some agricultural products of the village.