Japan Winter Wonderland in Shirakawa-Go

Winter in Japan is totally an out-of-this-world experience with its magnificent beauty and dream-like vibe. If you’re thinking about exploring the other version of Japan during the cold and festive months, we highly suggest to include Shirakawa-go to your itinerary: 

Traditional house in Shirakawa-Go


Situated high in the Japanese Alps, Shirakawa-go is one of those places that you would think only exists in fantasy books and movies. The journey to this charming village might be not an easy one, but the snow-covered thatched roof houses (Gassho-zukuri) and picturesque white Alps on the background will surely take you to the winter wonderland of your dreams. Want to make the most out of your long travel to this destination? You can try an overnight stay in one of gassho-zukuri to experience the Japanese way of living in the mountains away from the bustling cities. 


Gassho-Zukuri house in Shirakawa-Go

An overnight stay at one of the historical gassho-zukuri houses costs around ¥8,000 to ¥12,000 per person. This already includes dinner and breakfast which feature local dishes. Spending the night at Shirakawa-go have become popular. Booking in advance is highly suggested. 

Winter lights in Shirakawa-Go

Best Time to Visit: This UNESCO declared world heritage site is best to visit during winter (December to Feburary) as it offers winter illumination display and best to view from the view deck above a hill beside the village. 

How to Get There: 

a. From Nagoya 
If you plan to include Shirakawa-go to your Japan itinerary, it is highly advisable to book your flight to Nagoya when going to Japan as you’ll enjoy the shortest journey to get to the destination: 

  1. From Nagoya Train Station, walk to Meitetsu BC Bus Stop. 

  1. Buy bus tickets to Shirakawa-go via Gifu Bus. 

  1. Alight at Shirakawa-go via Gifu Bus. 

Travel Time: 2 hours and 53 minutes 
Bus Fare: ¥3900 (Php1,736) (Note: JR Pass is not accepted on the bus) 


b. From Tokyo 
Going to Shirakawa-go from Tokyo can be a long and expensive journey. But if you’ll purchase a JR Pass, (insert hyperlink to UHI JR Pass page) you can save a hefty amount of your budget as the Shinkansen ride (first leg) will be covered: 

  1. Take the Shinkansen Hokuriku to Toyama Station 
          Travel Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes 
          Fare + Reserved Seat Fee: ¥12,520 (Php5,542) 

  2. Switch to Nouhi Bus and alight at Shirakawa-go BT Bus Stop 

      Travel Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes 
      Bus Fare: ¥1700 ($15, P752) 

Note: Fare may change without prior notice. 

Living in a warm and tropical country, like the Philippines, makes you yearn for the snow and the cold. Japan is the perfect destination to experience winter with its extraordinary beauty and Shirawakago is one of the best places to include to your itinerary. So make sure to bring your thickest winter coat and don’t forget to purchase your Japan travel essentials to make your trip worthwhile and more convenient. 

Japan | Winter in Japan | Shirakawa-Go
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