Despite the Japanese Observatory forecasting a warm winter with less snowfall this year, the beginning of December has witnessed a large part of Japan enveloped in snow. When it comes to snow, Takayama and the wider Hida area have not shortage of it. But the initial forecast did make me lose some sleep as it is my first year in Takayama and I am looking forward to a snowy and white winter. But it seems my worry was unwarranted. In fact, this December turns out to be a pretty cold one.
So you can imagine my excitement when snow started snowing in Takayama, and even more so when I arrived at Shirakawa-go, where there was massive amount of snow. I stayed there for one night and the next morning the snow was more than 1 metre deep! Given the large amount of snowfall at Shirakawa-go every year, I cannot help but wonder if residents there hate snow as I imagine it must be hard work clearing away the snow on the ground and on the roof every two hours! It is physically demanding and tiring. But according to the owner of a small restaurant I frequent at Takayama, they actually love snowball despite their complaining about the trouble all the time. The reason is that they can feel a sense of achievement whenever they finish removing the snow in front of the house, and it is clearly visible, plain for the eyes to see. Moreover, they get to exercise and they feel every more alive even during the cold winter.
So stop hiding indoors during this winter! Come to embrace the snow and winter here in Takayama, and in Shirakawa-go. We offer half-day tours to Shirakawa-go every day, so we sincerely invite you to join us for some winter fun!