「おはよう、世界！」- Good Morning, World! 🙂
This time, let’s take a trip to Southern Japan! Shirakawa is a hot-spot for tourist who came to see the small-yet-unique village called Shirakawa-go. It was declared as one of UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995 thanks to the locals dedication to preserved their traditional farm-house known as gassho-zukuri. The village is located in Gifu prefecture and is part of Chubu region, which is sandwiched between Kanto (Tokyo, Chiba, Gunma) and Kansai (Nara, Osaka, Kyoto) region.
After leaving from Takayama at around 3:00 p.m. by bus, we finally arrived in Shirakawa at 16:45. And Oops! We just missed the Shirakawa-go opening hour…
Guided by the trust-worthy Google Map, we made our way to the guesthouse on foot. While it was a struggle to walk with my injured foot, I couldn’t be happier! Shirakawa has welcomed us with their magnificent view. And I can’t help myself from taking multiple deep breaths just to inhale their crisp clear air.
This time, we were staying at a humble-yet-lively guesthouse called AntHut. The place is clean and it housed quite an international residents. If you are a private person, this might not be for you; but if you’re a social person like my friends and I, then this is the perfect place for you. Once we arrived, the lady owner (Okaa-san) greeted and served us with delicious-warm tea and some japanese sweets.
Upon our arrival, we made friends with two other guesthouse residents. During our little chat, they told us that we can still walk around at Shirakawa-go even though all the shops and attractions were closed. So we decided to walk all the way back to Shirakawa-go, which is located just next to the bus-station. My friend went crazy with their fancy camera and modeling skill, while I just giggled and watched. It was fun! The village was practically empty and it exudes thrilling yet tranquil vibe. We walked to the furthest corner of the village until we almost froze ourselves and our feet can’t walk no more.
Cold and exhausted, we just want food to fill our grumbling stomach. It was a long walk to the restaurant we wanted to eat, but once again we missed the opening hour and had to look for another place. We went back a couple blocks to a tiny restaurant that was probably the last store that opened that night. But boy, were we glad that we decided to eat there. I had one of the best meal in my life! It was a warm and simple dish, but every bite sent me flying to heaven~
Back at the guesthouse, Okaa-san remembered that I had an injured foot and she gave me an expensive and prescription-only plaster. Her kind gesture really warms my heart. I was hoping to see her in the morning to once again say my thanks and gave her a proper good-bye hug; but only Otou-san (the male-owner) showed up that morning. So instead, I gave them a little snack that I had brought from home as an omiyage.
「お土産 」- Present or Souvenier
The sky was getting brighter when we began walking towards Shiroyama Viewpoint. This place is a must-visit location for photography-mania who will do anything to get the perfect shot of the village. It was another battle up the hill, as the road was very steep and we were carrying our luggage because the locker area (at the bus stop) was still closed. Traveler’s tip: I believe the locker service opens at 8 a.m. But make sure you don’t missed your bus schedule, if you’re boarding the a.m. bus.
Once we arrived at the top, the view was very mesmerizing that everyone fell silent into their own world. We spent a good 20-30 minutes just appreciating the view of the village and the mountains that was still white and covered with snow. I pick a spot and sat down to have my dorayaki as breakfast. Set the earphone and began listening to RADWMIPS’s Shuukan Shonen Jump, and life was just perfect. I had flash backs of my past struggles and excited for my future struggles. A very tiny teardrops flow down to my cheek and I knew I just reached the peak of being content and grateful for life.
Thank you friends for bringing me to this beautiful place, Thank you Okaa-san for your kindness, and Thank you Shirakawa-go for existing.
::Quote of the Day::