Discover Shirakawago, Gifu prefecture

  • GIFU
  • TRAVEL
  • If you are in or coming to Japan maybe there are many places you want to visit. Shibuya(Tokyo), Dotonbori(Osaka), Itsukushimajinjya(Hiroshima), Kinkakuji (Kyoto) etc… I guess they are most famous sightseeing spots in Japan and people usually go there. I agree, they are worth visiting, but this time, I want to show you another place that you should go to. Shirakawago, which is a very beautiful place and I feel it is not so famous among visitors.

    Shirakawago

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    Author’s photo

    Shirakawago is located in Gifu prefecture and is famous for the unique shape of house roofs to prevent them from breaking under heavy snow every winter.
    I personally recommend you to stay at a hostel in “Hidatakayama” ( It’s another sightseeing spot near from Shirakawago, though I don’t introduce it in this article) and go to Shirakawago by bus from there because there are not so many places you can stay at, and one day is enough for sightseeing. Bus fee costs 4420yen for a round-trip. Please read along to find out what to do there!

    Doburoku festival

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    Firstly I’d like to tell you about a big festival called “Doburoku festival” held every year from mid-September to October. The purpose of it is to pray for rich foods and peace for this village. Doburoku is a name of liquor which is made from in a unique ancestors way. If you join this festival you can drink doburoku and see traditional dancing.

    Even if you go to Shirakawago in another season and there is no doburoku festival, you can drink doburoku at “Doburokumatsuri no yakata”. When I tried it, I discovered it is not a weak alcohol, so I don’t really recommend it to those who don’t usually drink alcohol though it tastes good.

    Wadake

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    Secondly, let me introduce you Wadake, It is a house which was built more than 300 years ago and has become one of the internationally designated cultural assets. You can enter and feel how houses of that age were made. The admission fee is 300yen for adults and 150yen for children.
    There are some other houses you can enter like “Kandake,etc…” but Wadake is the biggest among them.

    Winter light up

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    Finally, I want to tell you about a winter light up in Shirakawago and I think this is the most famous attraction there. Every winter from mid-January to mid-February houses are lit up at night.(From 17:30~19:30) On that time, you can see lots of lit-up snow on the roofs and on the ground and I’m pretty sure that you will have no words because the view is overwhelmingly beautiful. The exact dates for light up in 2016 are not released yet, but it is going to be decided during summer.

    I hope you found this article useful!