Friday, November 03, 2017

Sightseeing in Takayama dan Shirakawa Go

Date & Time: Saturday, October 28th, 2017 7:50 - 19:00
Destinations: Takayama, Shirakawa-go
Participants : 40 International Students, 4 Staffs of International Student Section
Total: 44 participants
Fee: JPY 1700

Shirakawa go from the view point

Time table:
07.50   Leave JAIST
09.15   Rest at service area
10.15   Arrive at Takayama
12.45   Leave Takayama
13.00   Lunch at Festa Forest
13.45   Leave for Shirakawa Go
14.45   Arrive at Shirakawa Go
16.45   Leave Shirakawa Go
18.00   Rest at rest area
19.00   Arrive at JAIST


Instead of arranging our tour by ourselves, we join the university-offered field trip. The trip visits two tourism objects: Takayama and Shirakawa Go. Both are about two hours travel from Nomi city, where we departs.


Kanamori Nagachika became a lord of Hida (33,000 koku of rice wealth) in 1586 and his clan ruled the region for 107 years over six generations. Nagachika started to build the Takayama Castle and it took almost 16 years to complete. He devoted himself to construct castle town. He allocated samurai houses surrounding the castle and various temples including Syourenji Temple (present Takayama Betsuin) in the east side of the town. After the Kanamori clan was transferred to Dewa in 1692, Takayama was under direct control of the Edo shogunate (1692 to 1868). The castle was destroyed by the order and the ruling was over. The site of Takayama Castle is now the leafy Shiroyama Park, and it is designated as a historical site and national monument.

Located at the center of the castle town, there are the most popular three main streets in Takayama’s Historic District served as a bustling merchant town. The houses in Edo Period still remain, and the district was designated as an area of important traditional buildings by the Japanese Government.

Group photo, in front of Jinya

“Jinya” was a local governor’s office during the Edo period. Originally, it was one of the mansion of Kanamori. There once were more than 60 similar buildings in Japan, however Takayama Jinya is the only one left today. It was in official use from 1692 to 1969. The main business were to conduct legal trials and collect tax. Takayama was well known for its abundant forest resource to produce timbers and an underground natural resource of gold, silver, copper and lead. This is one reason why the Shognate put Takayama under the direct control as an important economic area.

Shirakawa Go

Shirakawa-go’s Gassho-Zukuri Village was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Once there were estimated 300 gassho style houses in Shirakawa-go, of which only 114 remain. It is said to resemble hand meeting in prayer (gassho in Japanese). The gassho style of house is characterized by steep, thatched roofs. Steep roofs connect over massive wooden beams, and these are able to endure the heavy snow of winter. Also there is a purpose to reduce the burden of snowfalls. The roofs are fixed with ropes, without using nails. Wada house is the largest gassho style house in Shirakawa-go. It was constructed in around 1800, and designated as National Important Cultural asset. It is still in daily use.

Please note, that most old houses in Shirakawa go are still used and owned by private. So, make sure you don't bother them when walking around Shirakawa go. Enjoy traveling.

You can download full itinerary here.

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