Travel rural Japan to Takayama and Shirakawa-go, Japan
Field Journal, Japan Travel Tips, JST Video

Visit rural Japan: Takayama and Shirakawa-go

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Hi my friends! Today I’m back with a new brief video (which I really can’t get to call Vlog…) to show you some beautiful spots in Rural Japan and in the Japanese Alps: Takayama and Shirakawa go!

Discover Rural Japan


One of the three most suggested destinations for Japan’s nuts, Takayama really is something for the eyes. Located in the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture (among the mountains), the charm of this city lies in the traditional atmosphere that you can clearly experience in the old town. This area has been preserved with many buildings and streets dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), an era in which the city ranked among the wealthier (merchants) towns in Japan. This area is reason enough to take the trip up here, and these amazing streets will offer you a lot of tasty food and lovely souvenirs.

Another good reason to travel to Takayama, aside from the delicious Hida beef (true apologies to the vegans and vegetarians) is the Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn, which is considered one of Japan’s best festivals.


Not far from Takayama, in the Shogawa River Valley, you will find the breathtaking Shirakawa-go, a small village declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, and most popular for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses.

Gassho-zukuri literally means “built like hands in prayer”, and if you take a look at the triangle shape of these roofs, you can in fact note the resemblance with the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. There is of course a practical reason for this shape: the need to resist the heavy snow that falls in during winter, and the possibility to provide a large attic space for the cultivation of silkworms.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with this village so much, but walking among its rice fields and it’s tall trees, under the clear blue mountain sky, really took me to a different time, a different space, almost a different sound of life.

What about you? Did you visit these places? Let me know in the comment below!

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