Located in a valley which is surrounded by many mountains, the Ogimachi Shirakawa-go village (荻 町 白 川 郷) is truly a paradise for the nature lovers. Each season has a different charm: cherry blossoms in the spring, the pastures in summer, beautiful fall foliage in the fall, and finally the winter is Christmas village. Most visitors only spend a few hours here (usually a bus tour), but we recommend you to stay here overnight, learn from local people and discover so much about the UNESCO World Heritage Site. And if you go overnight, let explore top things to do in Shirakawa-go you should do at Shirakawa-go with Living Nomads below.
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Staying at Gassho houses
If you really want to explore the local lifestyle here, you should try to stay at Gassho house. Most of these homes are open for overnight stays. If you are not lucky enough to get a room, there are also innumerable inns where you can visit a Gassho house during the day. Entry fee is 300 yen. One favorite option is Kanda House (神 田家 – Japanese) because it serves free tea.
Walking slowly to watch the scenery
The map of Shirakawa-go also states, “Walk slowly in Shirakawa-go.” A circular walk around this village is a wonderful discovery walk, so do not rush. You should enjoy the feeling of being lost in the small valleys, exploring more things than the other visitors do. Take a walk early in the morning before the flood of visitors arrives (at least before 9 am) so that you can get many beautiful photos.
Besides that, instead of going to the Shiroyama Observatory with a familiar trail, you should go to your own according to wish. It is not only good for your body but also can help your eyes enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Making a meal tour
Shirakawa-go village is also a paradise of the food. The coffee at Coffee Shop Hina (コ ー ヒ ー 屋 鄙) is a perfect place that must try and the cake there is also very delicious. It is located near the bus stop but you have to have enough time to enjoy because the coffee here is very new.
You should also try the curry and Zensai (Japanese snacks) at Ochudo (落 人), a small and lovely house next to Kanda House. If you call tea, you will have the opportunity to choose a cup of tea in the collection there – small but it is an important thing you need to have at home.
Shirakawa-go snacks like rice cakes or beef sandwiches are truly worth a try. You will find they are a lot on the road. There are souvenir shops there, you will not run out of things to buy, try and taste everything here.
Taking beautiful photos
It is the perfect place for you to take the selfies and many beautiful pictures. Shirakawa-go is a paradise for photographers because the mountains and rivers surround this place. Capture the moment and entertain your eyes with the wonderful creations that this village brings.
Talking to local people
Feeding your eyes and soul with village stories by talking to the people here. Most of them can speak basic English and if you are learning Japanese, you will not be able to take the time to practice.
How to get to Shirakawa-go
Getting to Shirakawa-go village by car is the safe way and completely possible, but here are how to get there by public transport:
The fastest way: Take Shinkansen to Toyama City (富山 市), then take Nohi bus (濃 飛) to Shirakawa-go pick up at Station No. 1 in front of JR Toyama Station.
The cheapest way: Take the bus from Shinjuku (新宿) to Toyama or Kanazawa (金 沢) (about 6000 yen), then take the bus to Shirakawa-go (about 1400 yen).
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and to Shirakawa-go you can refer to
- A Day in Shirakawa Village and Takayama
- Gokayama Ainokura & Shirakawago Bus Tour
- Takayama and Shirakawa-go Day Trip from Nagoya
- Shirakawago Ogimachi Village Half Day Tour from Takayama
- Shirakawa-go, Takayama, and Kamikochi Day Tour from Nagoya
- Takayama Spring Festival & Shirakawago Tour
- [Klook Exclusive] Shirakawago Illumination Wonderland Trip from Nagoya or Takayama
Shirakawago Minkaen Illumination & Festa Forest Museum Round Trip Bus Trip from Takayama
- Shirakawago Day Trip with Exclusive Illumination Winter Event and Round Trip Transfer from Takayama
Are you looking for more Shirakawago travel guide and top things to do in Shirakawago: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Shirakawa-go travel blog — Visiting one of the most beautiful villages in Japan.