Day 4 - Ogimachi village

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Ogimachi Village is the largets village of Shirakawa-go, but it took some finding!  This is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring Gassho-style farmhouses. Some of these are more than 250 years old. The Japanese Government is actively encouraging the preservation of this area as an working farm environment, to show people how the Japanese farmers used to live. The village houses have thick straw roofs, which I think were made from rice straw.

Despite the large road signs, we got a little confused and stopped outside a shop to get our bearings. I kind young man approached our car and gave us directions. Then he went back to his shop to find a map for us, in case we were still confused! We eventually parked in an overflow carpark, such was the interest in visiting this village. In winter it can be even more spectacular with everything covered in deep snow. But today, we gloried in the autumn colours and the beautiful sunshine.

Before getting to the farm area, we passed the Myozenji Temple, with its unique thatched roof.

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The village is closed to traffic during the daytime, so strolling around was very pleasant.  I took far too many photos, so here are just a selection.

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As it was such a beautiful day, we did not go inside any of the museums here, but instead took the walking trail up to the Shirayama Viewpoint to look down over the village.

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We walked back to the carpark to discover that is closed in 30 minutes time, so a good thing we hadn’t hung around any longer.  The Toyoto Shirakawa-go Eco-Institute was our base for the night where we enjoyed another meal celebrating fresh ingredients, this time cooked in the French-style, accompanied by a generous helping of sake!  We slept well in comfy cubicles after wallowing in the muscle-relaxing, bone-warming onsen.

ECO hostel

© Helen Gray 2021