For two days we will visit the center of Honshu. This area is full of mountains, valleys and small charming villages. We have opted to visit Takayama and Shirakawa-go one day, and the Kiso Valley the next. In one day we have decided to visit Takayama (high mountain) and Shirakawa-go. Takayama is famous for the Sannomachi neighborhood, an area that still retains houses and shops from the Edo era. The last time I went we visited Takayama in one morning, and it's pretty cute. But mainly we go to Takayama because that's where the bus leaves for Shirakawa-go.
Shirakawa-go is a village located in the Shokawa Valley. The other time I went, the labor camp I was in was in Higashi-shirakawa, and I misunderstood that this town was declared a World Heritage Site, and that I clicked to take it when it was another town and that it was quite far away. incommunicado with public transport than I thought. Basically the mistake came because Shirakawa (White River) is like the Guadiana, or the Ebro that give name to many villages and do not have to be next to each other. And the truth is that I remain as a pending subject that we will try to fulfill on this trip, if we will try to do so it will be a feat. From Kyoto you can take a Shinkansen to Nagoya and there an express train to Takayama (about three hours), and From Takayama station a bus leaves there in about 50 minutes (¥ 4,300 round trip). Ideally, leave Kyoto with the Shinkansen at 7:45 am and arrive at Takayama at 10:52, to catch the bus to Shirakawa-go at 11:50 and get there at 12:40. Uffff !!!! Just thinking about it I get tired. Shirakawa-go has been a world heritage site since 1995 and is famous for its traditional houses called Gassho-zukuri that have a thatched roof and have several floors.
We will spend the night in Takayama, where by the way it is more expensive to sleep than I thought, there are almost Youth Hostels and the traditional ryokanes the cheapest cost about ¥ 14,700 without meals. Searching and searching I found in a blog a couple who explained that they had slept in a temple in Takayama (sleeping in temples is called Shukubu) and the truth is that nothing bad comes out of ¥ 3,000 per person per night. So I sent an email to the temple, and Tommy the English speaking monk answered me confirming the reservation. The temple is the Zenkoji and is located between the historic area and the train station. The truth is that I think this will be a very intense day and end up sleeping in a temple can be the final climax.