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Shirakawa-go ??? Historic UNESCO Site

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Shirakawa-go ??? Historic UNESCO Site Shirakawa-go ??? Historic UNESCO Site

Shirakawa-go ??? Historic UNESCO Site






By Tsuda from Tsushima, Aichi, Japan (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsHave you seen photos of Japanese villages covered in snow similar to the above photo before"  This picturesque village looks like it belongs in a Japanese folktale from long ago, and we had the chance to visit this unique UNESCO World Heritage site, Shirakawa-go (???) as our excursion from Takayama.This is the part 4 of my visit to Takayama.  If you haven?t had a chance to read this series, please start with part 1.The trip from Takayama to Shirakawa-go used to take over 3 hours.  Since 2008 the trip has been shorted to 1 hour with the completion of Tokai Hokuriku Expressway.  On the way there from Takayama, we saw views of the Japanese country side and a Hida Beef farm and passed through many long tunnels including Japan’s second longest.We booked our Shirakawa-go English tour with J-Hoppers in Takayama (¥4,000 for Adults and ¥3,500 for children), and our family ended up being the only ones on the bus tour that afternoon.  Our Japanese guide was very informative and super friendly, and our children absolutely adored him and his humor.Touring Shirakawa-goWhen we arrived at Shirakawa-go, the bus goes to the observation deck at the top of the hill first so we could take in the panoramic view of the village.  After taking in the beautiful view, the bus then heads down towards the village.(see the map of the village)Once the bus parks at the parking lot, you will cross the Shokawa River on a suspension bridge to stroll into the village.As you take a look at the scenery around you, you can see that Shirakawa-go is located in a mountainous region surrounded by forests.  The air was very clean and the river flowing below the bridge was super clear.  This area is a complete opposite of large cities like Tokyo and Yokohama.Gassho-Zukuri in Shirakawa-goSo, what so makes Shirakwa-go unique and special"  It’s the collection of gassho-zukuri (????) roof on top of the houses in the village!  You probably wonder what’s the meaning of gassho-zukuri"Gassho means the shape of the hands as you’re praying with the palm facing each other (prayer-hands construction).This one-of-a kind thatched roof design is very strong and allows it to handle the weight from heavy snowfall during the winter time.  The roof with its sharp angle sheds the snow easily as well as create a large interior spaces to use for work during the harsh winter (traditional industry was raising silkworms).Our guide told us that the roofs last about 20-30 years but it’s very expensive and labor intensive to replace.  Each side of the roof costs about $100k USD and it would cost $200k to replace both sides.  Besides the cost, it requires a lot of workers (like 150 people!) to make the roof as you’ll see in a picture later.There are a total of 114 thatched roof buildings in Shirakawa-go.  Among them, you may notice that some of the houses in the village have modern roo...


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Fuente de la noticia: justonecookbook
Fecha de publicación: 27-08-2015 21:29
visto: 10

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