Hi all! Some of you have probably seen this picture before as I took it the last time my wife Yoko and I went up to Shirakawago ( 白川郷 ) and reported on that. Although I have tons of pictures from the area, for some reason this one is still my favorite and feel the need to use it again and again. Somehow it says it all for me, knowing that it’s somebody’s home and not a theme park!
Just as I’ve tried to keep all of you kind readers as well as the English Conversation 英会話 students at my Smith’s School of English ( スミス英会話 甲東園 ) in Kotoen informed about fireworks and local festivals in the Kansai area, I also endeavor to keep people updated on our travels around the country and spot-light some interesting places not to be missed. This is the first offering of this new series.
One of my personal favorites is the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture including Shirakawago. Access by rail is severely challenged and I strongly recommend going by car. There is no better drive in Western Japan, partly because the traffic is light and the scenery is top grade. If you’re into bikes, get a BMW 650cc or better yet, a full 80 cubic inches of HD and just cruise. Domestic bikes are too fast and you’ll miss it all! Diesel engined RVs with steel frames are very popular here too, you’d be surprised how people seem to live in them!
In our converstion 英会話 甲東園 classes, we often discuss 英会話 traveling and I’m genuinely amazed by how much many would rather travel abroad for two nights rather than go on a road trip in Japan. I have made it a personal mission to get people to do it. Renting a car is the easiest thing here!
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School in Kotoen
Over the years, have somehow managed to never visit Shirakawa. Thanks for reminding me I must make the trip!
Yes, it’s really one of the most beautiful areas in Western Japan. Drive up Route 156 from Gifu or go east on Route 158 from Fukui and connect at Shiratori. Most people stop at Shirakawago and that’s a mistake. The mountainous region of Southern Toyama prefecture is even more interesting because it hasn’t been noticed by the tour buses. Very original.