My most recent trip led me to Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県), which is just north of Aichi Prefecture (愛知県 – which Nagoya is in). The first place I went to was Shirakawa Village (白川村). It is a small village that has preserved a traditional style of architecture with steep, thatched roofs. My friends and I toured the Nagase House (長瀬家 – the largest building in the area of this traditional style), had a そば lunch and wandered around the village. We went up a nearby hill to a viewpoint that allowed us to see the entire village. It was really beautiful. The rest of the time was spent looking through おみやげ shops and eating 抹茶 ice cream.
We spent a lot of time at the Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute. While there, we went on two hikes to learn more about Shirakawa Village’s history and culture. The first hike was a night hike, where we took the time to explore the nearby forest in the dark. The second hike was in the morning, where we learned more about the traditional architectural style and how it is built.
After the second hike, we headed for Takayama (高山市). We stopped by Hida Folk Village (飛騨の里), where we got to paint images on traditionally made Japanese candles. Then, we toured Takayama Jinya (高山陣屋 – an old government building) and walked around the main streets. There were a variety of interesting おみやげ shops and my friend ended up buying a bottle of お酒 for her host mom. I found a せんべい shop where I got to buy a freshly made せんべい to snack on on the ride back to Nagoya.
Overall, it was a fun trip, but it was surprisingly cold. A typhoon had been coming in over the weekend and it brought very cold weather with it, but it was a nice contrast to humid Nagoya. Hopefully sweater weather will come soon!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hi, my name is Ashley Bell and I am a Junior Political Science major at Santa Clara University. I'll be spending my spring semester in Nagoya, Japan and am very excited to share my experiences with you. I hope you enjoy seeing Japan through my eyes!</p>