Saturday, February 15, 2014


It is still winter in Japan and you still have the time to visit the the Shirakawa-go and Gokayama villages in Gifu and Toyama prefectures. These two villages were listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. I have been to Shirakawa-go last summer of 2012. I made a promise that if I can get a chance to visit it again in winter, I definitely will. That day came just two weeks ago, after joining a photography club bus tour.


First stop of the tour was in Shirakawa-go. I almost did not recognize the place as it was covered with snow. It was winter wonderland. But when I saw at the gassho-zukuri, I know I have been here before.
Gassho-zukuri is a house built of wooden beams combined to form a steep thatched roof that resembles two hands together. more here

I have a confession to make as a photo enthusiast. I hate tripods, long exposure and night shots. Perhaps I am just too lazy and impatient to set-up everything, wait for 15 - 20 sec before seeing the photo. But, during my last vacation, I got a good deal and bought a tripod. Finally. Hey, I still suck with long exposure photography but life goes on. Ha ha!


Next day, we went to Gokayama. It is comparably smaller than Shirakawa-go but both villages showcased the same houses that could withstand the heavy snowfall.


At Gokayama, we were introduced to Sasara.
Sasara is a traditional Japanese wooden percussion instrument used in folk songs, rural dances and kabuki theater. The purpose of sasara is to sound an imitation sound of rubbing ears of rice. more here

At some point I wish the roofs were filled with snow but over-all it was still a great experience. This is my first leisure trip in Japan this year and hopefully, I could travel and explore other prefectures soon.


On the above photo, you can see minimai, my travel buddy this 2014.  My friends, Alaine and Kid, joined the trip too.



  1. Gosh! So lovely! The place really looks special during winter! I wonder how it would look like during autumn

    1. i am not sure how it looks during autumn since it's mostly rice field / tea field. not much trees are there.

  2. Ang ganda ng mga shots kuya.. :) ayyydoooL!

  3. Lovely!!!! :) Buti di nababasag si minimai. hehehe

  4. It seems like you went there on a cold, cold day. Lovely photos, Totomai.

    1. not that cold haha. it wasn't snowing when we went there, perhaps the snow fall was few days before our tour


any thoughts to distill?

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