Shirakawago and Amou Wetland

We went to another short tour to Shirakawa-go - Amou wetland.
Shirakawago is about 50 km from J-Hoppers Hida takayama Hostel. 40-50 minutes by car or bus. This is one of the must-see places in the central Japan

At first, we went to a UNESCO World Heritage Shirakawago Village. The village was designated as a World Heritage in 1995 for the unique traditional way of houses' architecture called "Gassho Zhukuri". People are still living in the fantastic houses and Shirakawa-go is a "Living Heritage". Some of the houses are museums at the same time. You can enter with a small fee (300-500 yen) and learn the history of the village and the features of the houses. Some run inns (Minshuku) and it may be a good idea to stay one of the inns. The rates are quite reasonable (6000-9000 yen pp/pn for a private room with 2 meals).

from the top of the hill in Shirakawago Village

Amou wetland is about 10km east of Shirakawago. There are 3 waterfalls on the way. We can approach the second one quite closely.

One of the 3 Amou waterfalls.
The other 2 falls are not aproachable.

After some sharp turns of the mountain road, we arrived at Amou Wetland. We need to pay 500 yen pp as a maintenance fee. There are some walking routes in the wetland. We can also climb Mt. Momi-nuka on the other side of the wetland, if you like. It is around 4 hour hike if you climb the mountain, otherwise, we can enjoy around 2 hour walking on the boardwalk in the wetland.

Sometimes in the woods, sometimese crossing rivers,
up and down, boardwalk and wooden stairs...
variety of trails attracted me much.

Walking in the native forest

Around the wetland, we saw some old-growth beechen forests and Katsura forests. Even though 2/3 of Japan is mountains, it is not very easy to see a beautiful natural scenery. We walked though those interesting native forests, crossing some small stream (too clear!) and took a rest by some bogs with full of small flowers.

Big Katsura trees.. I don't know what the tree
is called in English.
It looks kind of spiritual.

, there is no way without a car or taxi. J-hoppers Hida Takayama Hostel sometimes organize one-day tour with a small fee. If you want to feel real Japanese nature, please come over and kick the reception in the back !

J-Hop Tour Hida Takayama - We provide you with a budget bus tour to Shirakawa-go from Takayama. Shirakawa-go ( Site with traditional thatched roof houses. ) is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. We will take you back to the Japanese good old days. View the website of J-Hop Tour Hida Takayama


pascal said…
Katsura tree doesn't seem to have any translated name in english. But you can still use the international scientific name : Cercidiphyllum japonicum (if you know how to pronounce that ! ;-) )

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