I always have a penchant for winter villages, probably because when I was younger, I drowned myself in way too many children storybooks; you know, the one where a little girl lit up a match in a snowy night and died. Or the tin soldier and his undying love to the paper ballerina and they both were burnt to ashes in the fireplace (Thanks HC Andersen for bringing the gloomy side in me wayyyy way too early). But my point is, in most of the fairytale books, they always opened the story with adorable illustrations of a snowy winter village; and those images have captivated my heart for longer than I can remember. That’s why I couldn’t contain myself when I got to visit the snowy Swiss villages last year.
Earlier this year on a trip to Osaka, I stayed in a lovely youth hostel around Shin-osaka station. Long story short, on the hostel’s message board someone put a photo of the cutest Japanese winter village ever, and it said below the photo, “Discover Shirakawa-Go!”. I was so charmed by the picture, and promised myself that I have to find this adorable village later this year.
Jump fast to December and I finally had the chance to visit the town! We drove to Shirakawa-go from Takayama and it was as picturesque as what everyone has said. The farmhouses (also called the Gassho Zukuri houses) are the main characters in this place; some of which are more than 250 years old. I was a bit disappointed because it didn’t snow on the first day. But on the second day, the first snow fell in the morning and transformed the whole village into a magical wonderland. It looked out of this world, exceeding all my expectation.
All photos are taken with Sony A7 + Zeiss FE 24-70mm.5