Day 15 – Shirakawago

We woke up on day 15 in shirakowago to the sound of steady rain. After breakfast, we went to see the Gassho Zukuri Minka-en also known as the Heritage Museum. About 26 houses have been brought in from all over the area to this one site.  It was very interesting, but it didn’t feel like a real village. Perhaps the most interesting part was a video explaining, with English subtitles, how they constructed the thatch roofs that are typical of Gassho farmhouses.  Gassho, by the way, means “praying hands”, which describes the shapes of the roofs, which are quite steep.

Model of a Gasso roof
Model of a Gasso roof
Example of a Gasso farmhouse
Example of a Gasso farmhouse
A temporary shelter for families whose Gasso has burned down
A temporary shelter for families whose Gasso has burned down
Inside of a Gasso
Inside of a Gasso
Another interior
Another interior
The grounds were quite beautiful
The grounds were quite beautiful
Ann among the rocks
Ann among the rocks

We then climbed up to the Shiroyama viewing point. It’s only about 20 minutes uphill, but it’s quite steep.  The view from the top shows how small the town is, and how it follows the river.

The view from Shirakawago viewpoint
The view from Shiroyama viewpoint

We then made our way to the Nagase Ke house. This is the best of the private homes on view in Shirakawago.  The most interesting parts of the home were the multiple attic floors, which were used for everything from storing farm tools to raising silk worms.

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Spinning silk thread
Spinning silk thread

After a rather non-descript lunch, we prepared to board the bus for Kanazawa.

Got in at 3. Starbucks. Checked in to our hotel.  Fought with wifi and lost. Found OK sushi place, but only foreigners. Couple from Sweden, now living in Oslo and Soith African guy. Wife of the chef very chatty in English.

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