Rugby World Cup 2019 Travel Guide: Takayama – Discover Japan’s past, deep in its beautiful countryside in the Gifu Prefecture…
This isolated mountain village showcases unique and stunning traditional architecture.
Nestled in the Japanese alps is this picture-perfect town Shirakawa-go that looks like Narnia in real life.
It was coming on winter in Los Angeles, and I was missing snow. Boston-born, I missed snow’s ozone aroma (snow does have a smell, you know). I missed its soft crunch under my feet. And coincidentally, I was also missing Japan, a land that has fascinated me ever since third grade when, for a show-and-tell project, at the suggestion of Mrs. Reggolino, who also had a Japan thing going on, I built a traditional Japanese home out of balsa wood and paper, complete with shoji screens (yes, I was a precocious child). Some places I visit only once and see no need to return. Others, such as Japan, I have visited multiple times. I love the food and culture but mostly I love the people and the respect they show each another and to visitors.
Read more from source: The Japanese Alps in winter offer snow, sake … and monkeys in hot springs
From a World Heritage-listed alpine town a few hours from Osaka, to Nagano’s Olympic ski slopes, to picturesque northern Hokkaido, a winter getaway will reward visitors keen for white landscapes before spring does its thing
By mid-March, most of Japan’s snowy landscapes begin to recede and fade as spring kicks in but there are pockets where you can still find snow until April, and even May. Here are five locations across Japan offering a last glimpse of winter’s white blanket.
Unesco World Heritage-listed Shirakawa-go is an alpine town famous for houses built with distinctive thatched ‘Gassho-zukuri’ roofs, literally meaning ‘hands in prayers’ – named after their steep structure. These sturdy houses have withstood the test of winters and heavy snow, some for over 250 years, and are popular as minshuku, or Japanese bed and breakfasts, throughout the seasons.
Although spring brings warmth, Shirakawa-go usually has snowy terrain until early May.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-gō is one of the most picturesque, hence most popular destinations in Japan. In the “World Heritage Area”, gassho style houses built from around 1800 still stand to this day. In this area, even now, the people continue going about their daily lives, surrounded by the unique and beautiful scenery.
The best time to be in Shirakawa-go is in winter. The spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains and traditional houses will leave you in awe for weeks.
From Nagoya Station, walk to Meitetsu BC Bus Stop.
Buy bus tickets to Shirakawa-go via Gifu Bus.
Alight at Shirakawago BT Bus Stop.
Travel time: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Bus fare: ¥3900
Take the Shinkansen Hokuriku to Toyama Station.
Travel time: 2 hours, 11 minutes.
Fare + Reserved Seat Fee: ¥12,730
Switch to Nouhi Bus and alight at Shirakawago BT Bus Stop.
Travel time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Bus fare: ¥1700
Total travel time: 3.5 hours (excluding the waiting time)
Total fare: ¥14,430
Take the Ltd. Express Thunderbird to Kanazawa Station.
Travel time: 2 hours, 44 minutes.
From Kanazawa Station, transfer to a Nohi Bus bound for Shirakawa-go.
The war hero has become a draw for tourists– and a tool of moral education in rural Japan.
GIFU PREFECTURE, Japan — When Japan’s prime minister visited the Baltics earlier this month to seal a valuable trade pact, he briefly detoured to the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, to honor a man from his country who once defied its empire and saved thousands of lives.
So goes the story of Chiune Sugihara, an Imperial Japanese diplomat to Lithuania during World War II who, at the onset of the Holocaust, issued roughly 3,000 transit visas to fleeing Polish Jews. His tale went untold for decades before Israel recognized him as righteous among the nations in 1984, and before Tokyo, more recently, embraced him as a noble rebel, an exemplary figure and a national humanitarian symbol.
As Sugihara grows in importance to Japan, so too has controversy and disagreement grown over the lionization of his legacy– between successive governments, within his own family and amongst historians, all of whom agree that Sugihara’s documented actions during the war are worthy of celebration and pride.