Japan
Ōno Gun

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36 travelers at this place

  • Day50

    Shirakawa-go Historic Village

    October 16, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Another early start - of course! Multiple trains and buses heading north-east out of Kyoto up along the isolated central northern coast. After a few hours, we arrived in the historic village of Shirakawa-go. This is a small village of wooden huts that have an unusual design - tall peaked roofs like Scandinavian houses. In this isolated area they get a lot of snowfall during the winter, so the steeply angled and thatched roofs help with shedding snow quickly and easily. Unusually for Japan, the local residents also build multiple storeys of attics into these roofs, and use them for small crafts like silkworm rearing and silk production.

    Essentially it's in an isolated area without much arable land, so whatever they could do to increase their income was needed! It was quite a nice village, with a sprinkling of houses against a dramatic backdrop of tall hills - not quite mountains. Nice colours as well with the early autumn, though despite the remoteness of the area it's definitely made it onto the tourist trail and we definitely weren't the only ones! Oh well.

    Spent the day exploring and then a late afternoon train back to Kanazawa where we'd stay the night. We'd heard that train stations in the evening often have the best food: bento boxes, conveyor belt sushi and the like, so we hung around for a bit and then decided on sushi train for dinner. We stuck to the cheap plates of course, but still got a delicious meal for a good price!
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  • Day77

    Étape à Shirakawago

    March 26 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Afin de rallier Seki à Kanazawa, nous faisons escale à Shirakawago ! Ce village authentique inscrit au patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO est connu pour l'architecture particulière de ses maisons, faîtes pour résister aux fortes chutes de neige l'hiver. Après un bol de ramens prit à même le sol dans un charmant restaurant typique, nous avons donc pu nous promener quelques heures entre ces grandes maisons au toit en paille, construites "les paumes des mains jointes" (gasshō-zukuri en japonais). Une bonne occasion de profiter du beau temps dans les Alpes japonaises !Read more

  • Day7

    SHIRAKAWAGO im Regen

    October 4, 2019 in Japan ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Auf unserem Weg nach Kanazawa machen wir nach rund einer Stunde einen geplanten Busstopp im kleinen Dorf SHIRAKAWAGO. Die Busfahrt ist bereits sehr idyllisch und führt vorbei an Bergwäldern und wilden Flusstälern. Das Örtchen wirkt mit seinen traditionellen Häusern mit Reetdächern wie aus dem Märchen. Der Regen und die Nebelschwaden lässt es besonders verwunschen aussehen. Als wir wieder in den Bus nach Kanazawa steigen, sind wir alle recht nass.Read more

  • Day664

    Using what you got

    July 6, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Every time I get the chance to see somewhere new in the world, I'm struck by how many ways there are to "live". What I mean by that is that humans have been figuring out how to live in their environments for forever. Even within North America I've seen this. Take the Southeastern United States for example, where I grew up, clay bricks are extremely popular for building whereas in the Northwest US, it's all wood. Where I live now, in the Arctic, the people have had to be very inventive and creative to create dwellings and live in a treeless, clayless environment. But, they did it and have 27 different words for 'snow' to encompass all the different types and categories, illustrating that a simple precipitation word to non-Arctic peoples is a very important concept to Arctic dwellers.

    The same in Japan. In Shirakawago, a now-UNESCO designated heritage site, tourists can see the ingenuity of how traditional homes were built using what they had----grass--called 'gassho-style'. Not only were homes built using grass, but also shoes, clothes, bassinets, mats, etc. Instead of everything being seal skin like it is in Igloolik, it was grass.

    The village we visited is actually one of 3 such UNESCO designated villages. Their location deep in a mountainous region at high elevation both protected them from encroaching sprawl and redevelopment such that in the 1970s, local residents decided that this traditional style was worth preserving. They worked for 20 years to restore the homes back to their glory and achieve the UNESCO status, predicting that future tourists and Japanese would value this and bring economic stimulus. The steep mountains that surround these villages prevent any real agriculture of scale. Back in the day, the residents used to raise silkworms as a way to generate income.

    The houses' roofs must be replaced every 30 years. The roofs are very steep in order to repel and slough off accumulating snow. Plus, the houses are huge--like 3 to 4 stories tall and would accommodate extended families along with their silkworm cultures up in the attic.

    I am not sure what or how the residents not directly incorporated in the tourism industry do for money. They may commute to larger, nearby towns for jobs.
    Today, the village is awash with tourists and visitors. It is essential that the homes be protected for posterity but also economic reasons. To that end, the village has a crazy fire suppression system. There are essentially geysers set up every 30 m (100 ft) or so. They shoot something like 30 m (100 ft) in the air and are basically an unmanned fire hose. Instead of a knocked over fire hydrant that shoots upward, these shoot directionally towards homes and barns. They do fire drills every week or month, I can't remember, and the residents have to participate. They also do a test run of the geysers every fall to make sure they are working. Additionally, there are fire patrols that consist of regular residents making the rounds twice per day through the village to ensure there are no fire hazards that have unintentionally occurred throughout the day. Serious about some fire prevention in a town of grass homes.

    What was most interesting to me about the story of these villages was that when the residents decided to organize and preserve their village, it was the younger generation that prized this ideal and wanted to protect the traditional houses. The older residents at the time resisted with the argument that they needed to modernize and do away with these high-maintenance houses. I find that interesting because usually it's the kids trying to get the older generations to modernize while the elders try to impart the value of tradition and customs to the younger folk.

    As usual, the bathrooms were weirdly spotless. Also interesting and, according to Jonathan and I, taking things a bit too extreme was the fact that there were NO garbage cans. They just hands down refused to provide anywhere to throw garbage. Not in the restrooms, not in restaurants, no on the streets. Nowhere. And there were gobs of signs explaining that you would not find a trash can because there were none. We were instructed by the signs to carry all our garbage out. That even included diapers! That's where Jonathan and I drew the line. I mean, seriously, you have your baby with you and you're supposed to carry the baby's shit diaper with you the rest of the day in your purse??!! Isn't that lovely getting to sit next to that person on the bus ride back---the person with shit diapers in their bag. A little ridiculous if you ask me. But they didn't ask me and I didn't have an infant with me, thankfully, so I just shoved my plastic waste in my camera bag and moved on.
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  • Day10

    Sonne, Ainokura und Onsen

    July 8, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Oh guck an, die Sonne ist wieder da und gleich wieder volle Bulle. Hatte ja auch ganz schön dolle die Tage geregnet. Waren die Nachwirkungen eines Taifuns, die in manchen Regionen Schlimmes angerichtet haben.

    Heute fahren wir noch ein bisschen über die Berge, durch verdammt viele Tunnel nach Ainokura. Da gibt es kleinere ursprüngliche Dörfer mit Häusern deren Dächer mit Reisstroh gedeckt sind und der Rest aus Holz und Papier. Bis auf die paar Touris, leben die noch schön ruhig.

    Sind dann weiter in die Berge zu einem Übernachtungsplatz mit Onsen gefahren. Ca. 20 km vor Ziel standen Schilder, dass die Straße gesperrt ist und wir umdrehen sollten. Da wir uns aber so auf das Bad gefreut haben, sind wir weiter. War schon ein bisschen unheimlich, wenn kein Auto mehr kommt, es dunkel wird und man nicht weiß wie weit es geht.

    Wir hatten jedenfalls Glück und sind durch gekommen und dafür das Bad fast alleine für uns. Am Schlafplatz waren wir die Einzigen. Im Hinterkopf die vielen Schlammlawinen, die in der Region runter kommen. (Haben im Internet gesehen, dass wir da voll in der Gefahrenzone drin sind.)

    Also Morgen raus aus den Bergen und ab Richtung Meer.
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  • Day49

    Shirakawago

    September 19, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    כפר מקסים בהרים. בגלל שהמקום סופג מדמויות מטורפות של שלג (2 עד 3 מטר בשיא!), לכל בית כאן יש גג משולש שעשוי משכבה עבה במיוחד של קש.
    מתברר שהרבה קש יכול לשמור יופי על הבית בפני השלג האימתני.

  • Day12

    אופסי

    August 9, 2015 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    היצור החביב הזה כמעט הכיש אותי.
    למישהו יש מושג ממה ניצלתי?

    עדכון מהשטח:
    זה צפע יפני! מכונה mamushi
    ארסי בטירוף!

    פיו...

  • Day8

    Day 8 - Shirakawa, Japan

    April 3, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    We left Takayama on the 7:50 bus bound for Shirakawa-go arriving at 8:40am. The journey went through many tunnels and we saw snow on the ground too. On arrival we beat most tour groups, this allowed us to wander around the village, where there was still a bit of snow in places.

    We then toured Kanda housd, a gassho house and went through the 4 levels. After this we treked up to the lookout point for a great view over the village. At 12:20 we boarded the bus for Kanazawa, another journel of lots of tunnels, arriving at 1:35pm.

    Kanazawa is beautiful. We walked the 15mins to our hotel - the Shara Hotel kumu - its very industrial modern. Our 4 bunk room cost 31,100¥ for the 2 nights. After dropping our bags we headed for Kenrouken garden. Turns out it was free due to Cherry blossoms which were everywhere, as too were the people.

    The gardens were a spectacular sight, as to was the Kanazawa castle grounds that we wandered through to get back to the hotel. On deciding to head to dinner, we ended up at the samurai district. We had to wait an hour to get into 'The Godburger' for dinner, then nearly as long for them to make it. The kids were good for such a long day.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ōno Gun, Ono Gun, 大野郡

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