The Kenr, is Kanazawa – we have been here before and all I can remember is it was 1) beautiful, 2) stinking hot and humid and 3) there were more tourists here than I would prefer (given I was one of them, I am acutely aware of the irony here). Kenrrok-ej was a strolling garden designed and constructed during the Edo period by teh Manda Clain. It was conceived in the 1620 and continuously mainted since then. Kenroku-en is considered one of the Three Great Gardesn of Japan, noted for its beauty across all seasons. The gardens are pread over nearly 25 acres, and feature a landscape of meandering paths, two large ponds, several tea houses, and one of Japan’s oldest fountains.
It is a site of uncommon beauty and tranquility. It has been open to the public since 1871. I just love this place – I’ve been here in summer, but I think I may have to come back in winter to see it in yet another season. Their cherry blossom area is quite small – so there are many more impressive places to go for cherry blossoms.
This is just some leaves on the pavement that I thought were pretty.
Toyama castle. We went through here last visit, so didn’t go through for a second time. = it’s one of those things you do when you are travelling… decide to visit a place more than once or try to press on and see something new. After leaving Tokoyama we head towards Gifu Prefecture – the views were gorgeous around every turn. High speed photography isn’t my favourite but I did manage to grab some half decent shots of the landscape. And then we came out of an 11km tunnel* and it was snowing again! 😮
*an 11km tunnel whereupon a cheerful conversation ensued as to what we would do if we were forced to evacuate the tunnel due to an accident or disaster… 😐 I haven’t packed for full on snow… but glad I bought my Merrell, gortex hiking boots with me!Oh so cold, but so beautiful.As we left Toyama and head towards Gifu Prefecture, we decided to stop at Shirakawa-go.
Shirakawa-go is one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Hmmmm… wonder if there is a Bingo Card for collecting UNESCO sites?!). The cultural area consists of three historic mountain villages over an area of 68 hectares in the remote Shogawa river valley, stretching over the borders of Gifu and Toyama Prefectures. Shirakawa-gō (白川郷, “White River Old-District”) is located in the village of Shirakawa in Gifu… the village is like an open air museum, but people still live and work here, so there are many private homes interspersed amongst the public museum buildings that tourists might come to visit.The thatched roofs are really impressive:
The valley where Shirakawa-go is located is in a mountain region that experiences considerable snowfall every winter. This village is well known for it’s clusters of farmhouses that are all constructed in the traditionally architectural style known as gasshō-zukuri. These buildings are designed to easily shed snow from their steep thatched roofs.Ω
Interesting info from Wikipedia:
That’s nuts!!!This statue depicts a person in a ‘Japanese raincoat’ made out of straws. They were particularly common due to availability of materials, well up until the early 1900s…
There is even a Pokemon based on people wearing these pointed thatched raincoats…
Shirakawa-go is pretty cool – there are still people living and working here, unlike some of the open air museums that are set up with some of these types of buildings just for tourists to visit. The village caters pretty well to visits, though it seems less so at this time of year – less cafes etc open.
Gorgeous area, well worth visiting, even if it wasn’t’ for the historical village.
More snow and more tunnels on the way to Takayama.I’m assumed this said: “Do you need snow chains, stupid?!” But it actually use makes mention of the tunnels ahead. Boring.
And some lovely coloured leaves I found on the ground near our ryokan…