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Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 09:40
Please advise :
1) if time permits, such I do all three, ie, Hida No Sato, Shirakawago and Gokayama ?
2) if I need to choose, which is the "must" visit place?
3) if I have done Shirakawago, will it be a "duplicating" experience?
Thanks in advance
by duck (guest)  

Re: Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 13:03
I see no need to go to all 3. Hida no Sato is a big open air museum. Shirakawago and Gokayama are similar, but Shirakawago is wildly crowded with day tripping tourists. Gokayama is less so, though it is often more time consuming to get to as well as smaller. Of course, where you are coming from or going to afterwards matters too.
If you are short on time and going through Takayama anyway, then Hida no Sato may be the best choice. It is not crowded (it was nearly empty when I went) and there is a lot better English explanation on the buildings - when they were made, how people lived, etc. Going there I got a much better appreciation of how the buildings were constructed and maintained, the difficulty of an isolated life especially while dealing with a bitterly cold snowy winter, etc. But all things being equal (and in reality, they usually aren't), if you were given a choice of walking through some Roman ruins, or time traveling back to the real thing and walking through a Roman town, which would you pick? Why pick an open air museum when the real deal sill exists?
Shirakawago has a lot that you won't find elsewhere.

Plus Shirakawago has its own open air museum right there too (though not nearly as good), as well as a spectacular village overlook.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 13:28
All 3 is an overkill unless you are a specialized architect interested specifically in this type of architecture.

I personally actually would go to Ainokura. I have been to Gokayama and Hida no sato. I havenft been to Shirakawago, but hearing how crowded it is itfs not attractive to me.

However this depends on how much time you have and transport options.

Hida no sato is probably the best choice if you want to do other things that same day as well.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 13:51

I've been to all 3. My favorite was hands down Hida no Sato. I thought it was the most interesting and best presented of the 3 by a lot.

The overlook at Shirakawa go is nice... but unless you are coming or going to Kanazawa , I don't think the overlook is enough of a reason to go.

And to take @Ken's example,, to me it's like visiting well documented Roman ruins with interactive activities or going to an actual Roman town where most of the buildings house restaurants or stores selling the same schlocky souvenirs. So it's being lived in, but the majority of buildings are being used to cater to tourists. I went to Gokayama and Shirakawa Go before the huge rise in tourists in 2010 and Shirakawa go still felt like a tourist trap. Gokayama was much quieter but this was 2010, it might be different now. I went to Hida no Sato in 2017. We weren't the only people there, but the museum is so large nothing felt crowded, it was also noticeably cooler than downtown Takayama.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 13:57
Thanks for your response.
I intend to self drive and will be staying one night in Takayama, so I guess Hida No Sato is close by.
Is it worthwhile to also stay one night in Shirakawago gassho farmhouse?
After that, I am likely to drive to Kanazawa before staying a night at Tateyama Station to do the Alpine Route the next day. (Toyama in - Ogizawa out, will stay one night up in Hotel Tateyama with car forwarded).
I will stay one night in Azumino. As the drive back to Nagoya is more than 3 hours. Please also advise is there any interesting stops between Matsumoto and Nagoya?
by duck (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 15:55
If you self drive, you should definitely consider Ainokura. And you might even want to spend a night there.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Hida No Sato, Shirakawago or Gokayama? 2019/10/30 18:15
I loved spending a night in a gassho house in Shirakawa. it's a different place once the last bus has gone.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

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