Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Travel: Japan 2016 2016 Day 22 // Ogimachi in Shirakawa-Go // Stay: Shimizu // Eat: Shiraogi

09/01/2016

We left early from Takayama to catch the morning bus to Ogimachi village in Shirakawa-Go. This was the 2nd time I went to the beautiful village, 1st time being last year in summer.
Bus departed from TakayamaHida Bus Center, next to JR Takayama station, schedule can be found on this website.

Whilst in summer this village was bustling with color and green fields, it was completely white in winter. Pity when we were there, there was actually not too much snow. *sigh*


looks like cotton tree <3





Not forgetting about snacks of course... .

Warabi Mochi (somewhat firmer than the ones we had at Kyoto), Baked Sweet Potato, Hida Beef Tsukune, Croquette, Gohei Mochi, and Mitarashi Dango

***
We had lunch at Shiraogi, which serves some set meals. Of course how could I pass on some of my last chances eating Hida beef!


Hida Beef Set (JPY2250) and Pork Cutlet (JPY 1000).
Both were great. I think it is pretty standard quality for the restaurants in the village as we have sampled a different restaurant last year during summer and I couldn't decide which one was more superior.




Shiraogi
Ogimachi, Ono-gun, Shirakawa-mura 501-5627, Gifu Prefecture
世界遺産 白川郷合掌造り集落
〒501-5627荻町

***


We went to the lookout to catch the standard bird eye view picture of the village.




Although there was not too much snow enveloping the village, we still managed to play around with what we had :)

haphazardly made snowmen ... courtesy yours truly



This village has a different charm in winter than what it is in summer. I really want to go back here during autumn (when maple trees thrives) and spring (when the Sakura blooms). And perhaps in winter as well since I definitely hadn't had my snow craving fixed with the meager snow we had when we were there.

We also visited the outdoor museum as we received some discount vouchers from our host at Shimizu (where we stayed for the night). But as 1/2heart and I had been there as well in summer, we ended up having snowball fights inside with our friend... .

Anyhoo, more pictures of the lovely village in winter... .









***

For our stay at Shirakawa-Go, we stayed at Shimizu Ryokan, booked through Japanese Guest Houses. Fare was JPY9900 per person, inclusive of dinner and breakfast. There really was nothing to do after the village 'closes' at around 5 or so (when all the shops practically closes), but it's recommended to stay in the village to unwind.

Shimizu was the only place not fully booked when I tried to make a reservation back on October T.T It was located a bit further from the other clusters of thatched houses, still no less charming though.





Room was spacious for the three of us. The hosts did not really mingle with their guests (pretty non-existent conversations). Last summer, the hosts in Nodaniya - where we stayed in Ogimachi -, and the hosts at Yomoshiro - where we stayed in Ainokura, were quite bubbly (or at least attempted to, despite language barrier) and mingled with us.

We had our dinner in almost silence while trying to make silent jokes to each other:D

Meal was home-made tasty and we had a very good night sleep.



6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Luna,

    How was the journey from Takayama-Hida bus center to Shirakawago-Shimizu? Did you bring a backpack or suitcase?
    I'm planning to spend a night in Shirakawago-Shimizu in February, and this is the only place available for my preferred date. I'm worry it will be difficult to travel with the wheeled-luggage.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Yung

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yung, Thanks for dropping by.

      We travelled with a daybag & a backpack when we had to go to remote places (I consider Shirakawa-go remote, too).
      Journey by bus to Ogimachi was pleasant, and it was snowing a bit. In February there is usually higher chance of thicker & heavier snow, so you may want to avoid lugging suitcases around (about 10 minutes walk from bus stop to Shimizu as well in good weather condition). It will just tire & stress you out. I suggest to bring a day worth of clothes in a daybag. Wear snowproof & waterproof boots.

      If you are going to stay at a hotel/ryokan before going to Shirakawa-go, you can ask the receptionist to send your big suitcases by kuroneko/takyubin to your next hotel/ryokan you will be staying at after Shirakawa-Go. If you are going to stay at an apartment/airBNB, it will be a bit more complicated to arrange delivery of suitcases by yourself, but not impossible. Let me know if you need more info about this.
      Happy planning & travelling. Shirakawa-go is STUNNING during winter (if you are OK with cold...).

      Cheers
      Luna

      Delete
    2. Hi Luna,

      Thank you so much for your respond and helpful suggestion.
      My plan would be travelling to Kanazawa upon arrival, spend a night and travel to Shirakawa-go the next day and will head to Takayama for 2 nights before going to Osaka for the rest of the trip. I've not decided the place to stay for Kanazawa and Takayama yet but most likely will be airbnb.

      Is it really worthwhile spending a night at Shirakawa-go? There are mixed reviews, some said the experience is really unique & is a must try, but some just said it's a waste of money and too boring at night.

      Thanks!

      Delete
    3. Hi Yung,

      If you are going to stay at a hotel or Ryokan in Kanazawa, do utilize the takyubin/kuroneko service which you can ask the hotel/ryokan to arrange for you.

      As for worthwhileness, it really depends on what you like. If you like nature and don't mind the lack of nightlife (no drinking, no bars for sure), the small village is beautiful. Personally I love to stay at quiet villages/towns like this after a couple of days in the bigger cities. Great to unwind and it's a completely different atmosphere.

      The village will also be illuminated on certain days in February (https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5956.html), so if the dates work with your schedule, this is perfect for photography (again, if you don't mind the cold and the thick snow. Make sure you have good boots :)) for postcard worthy pictures.

      Will be happy to assist more with questions about luggage deliveries if/when you already know where you will be staying in Takayama. You can refer to my past posts about where I stayed before in Takayama as well.
      Regards
      Lune

      Delete