The picturesque villages of Shirakawago look like they have been sketched up by artists, equally beautiful in any season. During the winter months, a blanket of snow on the thatched-roof houses mimic the surrounding peaks in a truly magical way. These farmhouses employ a design known as gassho-zukuri (‘hands-in-prayer’) to construct their steep roofs – allowing them to withstand the heavy snowfall each year, and improbably made without a single nail. Ogimachi is the largest and most famous of these iconic mountain villages, a photogenic cluster of historical buildings – beautiful throughout the year: against the blue skies of summer, the blazing autumn reds and oranges, or surrounded by the verdant fields and flowers of spring.
You can stop here as part of the bus journey between Takayama and Kanazawa, or as a specific day trip from either one. Whether you stay for a few hours, or for the full day, you are sure to find the charming, bucolic scenery a highlight of your time in Japan. To get a more in depth experience we can arrange a full day with a private driver, allowing you to see more of the region. Head also to the village of Gokayama, learn to make traditional washi paper, and enjoy a warming cup of tea in one of the iconic farmhouses.