Today is day 5 of our trip. Woke up early morning to take the breakfast in the hotel again. After breakfast, we proceeded to check out of the hotel. Then dragging our luggage again, we took the train from Kujo Station – Kyoto Station and walked to JR Kyoto Station and bought a one way train ticket to Kanazawa Station to take a direct bus to Shirakawago. It took around 2hrs plus to reach Kanazawa Station and another 1 hr 15mins for the bus ride. Before we took the bus, we had our quick lunch at the Starbucks near the bus stop no 2. It was raining when we board the bus. The bus ticket was reserved through phone calling to Japan when we are at home. We collected the 2 way ticket (return the next day) on the ticket booth near the bus stop. The bus that we took is called Hokutetsu bus (http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp) and you could access this pdf for all the information on the bus (http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/news/260313takayama.pdf). Bus ticket cost 3290 Yen per person for a 2 way ticket.
Along the way during the bus ride, the scenery is really beautiful. The moment when the bus 1st exit the tunnel, what we could see is the whole field of white snow. Thats a beautiful view that can’t be express in words. After 1 hr 15mins, we finally reached Shirakawago.
Shrikawago is a quiet mountain village with rice fields and a river running through it. 114 thatched roof stand together in the village, which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. There are some museum and temples in this town. During the day, a lot of tourist will come here just for day trip to tour around in this town. But I do recommend stay for a night here as its really different from staying in city. After alight the bus, we crossed the bridge to reached the other side of the river for our accommodation for the night here. The bridge floor is covered with snow, thus we had to walk carefully across it with our luggage to avoid slipping. After a short distance of walking, we finally reached our guesthouse Nodaniya. After check-in, the house owner explain the house rule which consist of dinner time at 6pm, breakfast at 7.30pm, bath time from 5pm – 9pm, house locked at 10pm etc…….. Wow, so many rules….. And there is only 1 bathroom which everyone in the house will need to share. So each time if anyone wish to use the bathroom, they will need to lock the door and display the “Occupied” display on the door. And do note that bath time could only be from 5pm – 9pm ONLY. The picture below shows our room in the guesthouse. It is traditional Japanese room where we sleep on the floor.
There is viewpoints (total 2) on top of the hill that overlook the whole town, but we will need to climb up the steep slope of snow. We took our time to climb up the slope of snow slowly………… We are really scared that we will fall… But the view that you see on top of the hill at the viewpoint is worth all these effort.
As the sky is turning dark, we decided to walk down the hill and return to the guesthouse. but when we are able to walk down that slope of snow again, we changed our mind as its really difficult and scary to walk down. Then we remember there’s another way up and decided to try to walk down that other route. We found that route near the car park where vehicles stop and it is a road for vehicles to travel on. So walking on that road is easier, but so much longer……. (we found a 3rd way to come up here, which by public bus. Found out only at the next day :P). And in addition, while we were walking in the town, we saw many notice stating beware of bears around here. When see one shout as loud as possible to attract people around to help…. :P. Thats why when we are walking down that long road, which forest are at the side of that road, we worried that we may meet the bears. But lucky we did not….Haha… 🙂
After a long walk down the road, by the time we reached the guesthouse, its already dark……. We went to the nearby convenience store to get some snacks before we head back to the guesthouse. After rest for a while in the room, its time for dinner. The dinner here is all the guest will eat together in a main dinning room. That is why the dinner time is fixed for everyone.
The whole dinner consists of tofu, beef, some small dish of vegetables, pickle, fried tempura, BBQ fish, orange and green tea. The beef is quite good as its really soft when bite on it.. I really missed the beef in Japan. After dinner, we went back to our room and found that the bed is ready.
Then took a shower, which is really cold in the bath room although there is hot water…… After shower, we got nothing to do here. But lucky the wifi that I rent here is able to recieve signal in this area. So we just surf net while eating snacks that we bought on the way back just now. Then we proceed to sleep for the night…… By the way, the heater that they used here is using both electrical and kerosene type as fire is buring in that heater. You could see on the 1st picture on top, beside the door. So there is a strong kerosene smell when the heater is on…. But no choice, we need the heater as its really cold. The walls here are also thin, so we can hear those snoring guest in this house. 😛