Does anyone know if a day trip from Kanazawa to Shirakawago is going to be worth it for us as we spent about 3 hours at the very pretty Hida Folk Village in Takayama last year?
I realize that Ogimachi is a real, living village and the Hida Folk Village is an open-air museum. But given that the main reason to visit either is to see the old farmhouses, would we find 4 hours in Ogimachi too much? This is the amount of time we%26#39;d be stuck there because of the bus timetable.
A day trip to Shirakawago would take up most of a day which might be better spent elsewhere, not to mention the cost of the return bus tickets.
Shirakawago vs Hida Folk Village
My overnight visit to Shirakawago, many years ago, was one the most memorable of my several trips in Japan, even though I had been to Hida Folk Village a couple of times before then, and again after.
I think that I would go again if I had the chance. The only reason I%26#39;ve not been back is that travel time in the past has been much longer than now.
Four hours is not too long to be there.
Shirakawago vs Hida Folk Village
See, my own opinion is that if you are not staying overnight in Shirakawago, it%26#39;s very like the Hida Folk Village. Shirakawago is larger of course, but during the day the tour buses and number of tourists tend to give it an artificial feel...my recommendation would be to skip it if you%26#39;ve been to the Hida Folk Village. I%26#39;ve done both in one weekend and it was total thatched-roof overkill.
Now, an overnight in Shirakawago is another story; I love the feel of the place when the tour buses have left and it%26#39;s quiet.
At Shirakawago do they have any houses that are like museums that are set up with furniture etc or do you just walk around the village and view the houses from the street?
I forgot about the tour buses! I did my sightseeing in the morning and left town about the time the buses arrived. My guess is that there are more tour groups now that the travel time is reduced.
As we aren%26#39;t staying the night, maybe we%26#39;ll skip Shirakawago then.
Pam, it looks as if there is a small section of Ogimachi that%26#39;s an outdoor museum like the Hida Folk Village.
A couple of houses at Shirakawa-go are opened to viewing. I can%26#39;t remember the name at this moment, but I went to the largest one in the village and it was 4 or 5 floors. The house wasn%26#39;t really stocked with furniture but instead, displayed a lot of everyday tools that were used.
I agree with your conclusion. I took a bus from Takayama to Kanazawa and stopped in Shirakawago for maybe 30 minutes. It was enough as I have just seen the Folk Villge the day before.
One thought though, when I was there, I just missed the cherry blossoms by 1 week in both those places. But if you did not see the Folk Village with cherry blossoms last time , and if you are sure you will catch the blossoms in Shirakawago this time, then I am not sure what one would do .
Otherwise, I would say that since Shirakawago is very small,I would not go in your case. Staying for the night there is a different story from what I could gather.
Enjoy your trip. I wish I will have the chance to go to Japan again!
Thanks for all your feedback.
I agree with OceanSkyBeach, we will give Shirawawago a miss too and spend more time at Hida Folk Village.
It sounds like the rushing around to get there is not worthwhile when we want to go to Hida and spend some time in Takayama.
We%26#39;ll be there in May - Monday the 18th is the day we were thinking of going to Shirakawago. It will be too late for the cherry blossom, won%26#39;t it?
Another way we could see Shirakawago without spending 4 hours there would be to go from Kanazawa to Matsumoto via Takayama and Kamikochi. There are more buses going to Takayama from Shirakawago than there are going back to Kanazawa.
The other way we are thinking of going is via the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. It would be too rushed to do both routes this trip, so I%26#39;m trying to choose between the two routes.
Can anyone who%26#39;s done both routes help me make up my mind finally? The Alpine Route sounds dramatically interesting but Shirakawago-Takayama-Kamikochi may have prettier scenery, maybe?
May 18 would be too late to see the blossoms. ( See
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2011_when.html). I would skip Shirakawago and spend more time in Kanazawa myself as the former is very small and far away and you have seen the Folk Village. While the latter has much to offer.
As for the rest of your questions, I suggest you pose them to ';Shot'; as he is a TA Japan expert and has been to your area of interest many times. I don%26#39;t know the routes Sorry. Keep in mind that the Japanese Alps has a late spring because of the altitude.
Another suggestion is instead of going to the mountains, you may consider a one-day bus tour up the coat from Kanazawa. Your hotel and the tour office in the train station can book it for you. I have not been on that route but I know it is offered as aforementioned and the coastline is supposed to be beautiful. Someone on this forum msy be able to help.