This morning, I joined a tour bus that took us to Shirakawago, a village that is a UNESCO heritage protected site. It is a village filled with ‘Gassho Style’ houses where they used this grassy material to create the roof of the houses in really sharp inclines so snow wouldn’t accumulate. The tour bus drove us through the hills and tunnels and we started to see the mountains of the Alps behind the landscape. They were still capped with snow! It’s been so cold here however, so I’m not surprised!

After our drive and short explanation, we were let out at the village where we could walk through and actually go in one of the houses to see how the structure was from the inside. We met the owner, who was a 5th generation owner of the house, and in the living area, there was tea for everyone. It was interesting to see how the structure was built, though the smoke accumulation at the upper floors was really odd. It wasn’t unbearable, but definitely not a place that would be usable.

I walked around with a guy named Eduardo who was from Peru but currently living in France. We had a good talk about our own journeys and enjoyed chatting. After a couple of hours at the site, we got back on the bus and headed back to Takayama. I kept a low key afternoon after a lunch with Hida Beef, and was stuffed so full that I had to come back and take a nap.


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