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Monday, December 18, 2006

Japan Travel - Views of Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site and a very very quaint village it is! even on a rainy day -- which was juz that when we arrived there.

Apparently it had snowed the previous days but alas, the rain, melted most of the snow , since this is only "early" part of the winter ..... understand that in Feb, the snow is quite deep! 20 inches or something like that ......... someone who visited shirakawa-go last Dec experienced 3 inch snow and i was kind of hoping to see the village with its snow-capped thatched roofs. pictures i've seen of the place is really very very very nice ......... maybe there'll be some opportunity in the future for us to return to this lovely village.

Getting there was was also a beautiful journey ...... the train ride from Gero ( a hotspring village) to takayama was abt an hour (faster if one takes the limited express train) .... but we really enjoyed the "slow" "toot-ing" along on the train. It felt like we've travelled back in time. the surroundings were rural, to say the least, yet very peaceful, quaint and there was some charm about it.......the streams flowing, the lush greenery (even though it's into winter season) and the quietness of it all. Japan's countryside somehow makes me want to be a farmer. LOLOLOL. hahahaha.

and from takayama, it's a 1.5 - 2 hour bus ride and the road runs round the foot of the hills/mountains (whatever they are) .... so it's a very scenic drive.

in fact, i really enjoyed the "getting there" process as much as being there in shirakawa-go. not sure if you know what i mean.

Anyway, the pictures above are "bird's eye view" of the village ...... will post more of photos of the village and the FOOOOOOOOD we ate !

i tell u, it's no wonder i've been putting on weight....... i lurrrrrrve to eat. ;p

The HIDA beef (it's a specialty of the region).... it's a marbled beef ... looks like kobe beef u know ..... but not as expensive -- literally melted in my mouth. and they have this special miso, called Houba-miso used to grill this beef and it was excellento! houba -- i think refers to the leaf which the miso is so served on .. which apparently enhances the taste of the miso! even though, first taste of the miso i felt a bit weird ..... not used to the taste but after a few bites, i can see why they usually serve the beef with this miso .... it's yummmmie. according to an american we met on the trip, the houba -leaf, is actually magnolia leaf.

this trip we didn't eat much sashimi cos the area we went is more inland ..... so the focus on chicken, beef and wild vegetables. :)

will post pictures soon!

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