As it is close to Takayama I did a half-day trip to Shirakawa-go. It’s a tiny farmers village up in the mountains which was founded back in the 12th century and is famous for its unique gasshō-zukuri style houses. The town is UNESCO world heritage and offers another entirely different perspective on Japanese history.

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According to the stories I heard the village was the refuge for the last survivors of the Taira clan which were otherwise wiped out in the late 12th century. And everything with samurais is extremely exciting to see – at least for me. There are several still inside-out preserved houses which offer the chance to have a look into who people used to live and work back in the days. It is even possible to book some as overnight stay which is highly recommended. However, you have to be early to book them. The high seasons (winter and spring) are extremely popular as there are not that many. I tried my luck in early January and everything for mid-May was already fully booked.

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