One way to ease stress is to travel and thankfully, there was a long weekend this month. It was the opportunity we've been waiting for to escape from work's pressure and Tokyo's fast-paced life. We found ourselves heading to Gifu Prefecture.
Gifu prefecture is exactly the opposite of Tokyo, it was quiet, slow-paced and fresher. Ah, I could live it here. One of the reasons why we chose to go to Gifu was to see the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, both were UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
a dreamlike design
stands test of changing eras
I heard a lot of this village before so it felt surreal to be finally in this place. The place, with lots of farmhouses, appears to be like in another dimension, or another era that could only be replicated in movies most of the time. It is unreal. Good thing that everything is still preserved for younger generations to see and embrace.
If you look closely on the details of the huts / houses, you can't help but to admire the architecture, the hardwork of all people involved, considering how limited the technology before was. These architecture style are known as gassho-zukuri
Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer", as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms. more hereIt is also pretty obvious that farming is one of the main sources of Gifu economy. The place made me missed my life in the province. It is so laid-back, peaceful and relaxing.
Two days were not enough to appreciate fully this place. If given another chance, I will go back here, preferably during winter season. I definitely agree that this is one of the beautiful villages in the world.
And for a couple of days, this was our house in the woods. I am really thankful for my officemates for tagging me along. It was another chapter of my Japan life that I won't forget. Too bad that the trip needed to be cut short because of a scheduled business trip. We headed back to Japan refreshed and stress-free.
I owe all of you a long drive. On the next trip, I'll drive, whether you like or not. Or whether I'll understand the signs / navigation or not.