Japan still remains a place full of mysteries. Especally by coming this far in the mountains, you will discover traditions and customs you can’t experienced anywhere else. This tour will help you understand the concept of “Satoyama (里山)“, Japanese mountain village, by visiting Shirakawa GO, declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995.
Shirakawa GO is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, with some of them being more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri means “constructed like hands in prayer”, as the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. We will explain you this and much more during this excursion and follow by experience firsthand some of the most typical Japanese customs such as tea preparation and Japanese calligraphy, Shodo.
1 day tour
Group from 8* to 15 people
All around the year
*Possibility to book for smaller groups, please contact us in this case
What you will experience on this tour :
- World heritage site of Shirakawa GO
- Street food of Takayama
- A “Shodo“class, the Japanese calligraphy
- Watching the preparation of the Japanese style tea, and tasting it served with typical local sweets
- An introduction to the Japanese culture
Useful information :
- Tour beginning meeting point : 8:30AM, JR Takayama Station
*Takayama is easily accessible from JR Kyoto and JR Nagoya stations by using the JR pass with the JR Hida express train or by direct bus from Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya or Osaka for about 7000 yen
- Tour ends at JR Takayama Station, 3:30PM
- Guided tour
- Staff stays with the groupe for the entire duration of the tour
- Languages available for the explanations : English, Italian, Japanese
- Although the meeting point is indicated on the program, we will provide detailed information on how to reach us when you book the tour.
Please contact us for any special request or supplementary information you would like to know
Our trip starts at the JR Takayama Station, where we meet the other participants and the guide that will accompany us during this tour. We take our privative mini-bus and go straight to UNESCO village, Shirakawa GO. We can feel the particular atmosphere of ancient Japan conserved here and enjoy the architecture of the houses. Our guide explains us how it was developed over many generations and designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter.
After the visit, we go back to Takayama to have lunch. It will be difficult to choose what to eat, there are so many options! Our recommendation is to try Takayama’s street food : it is full of diversity and offers loads of specialities of the Hida-Takayama region.
After lunch we head for the Shodo lesson. We learn how to write our favorites ideograms and enjoy an interesting conversation with the teacher afterwards. Of course our interpreter will translate for us!
Last but not least, we assist to the traditionnal way of preparing the Japanese tea. Our expert prepare the tea for us and we taste it afterwards. During this tea-time, we also eat locals sweets and are given a short introduction about the Japanese culture. Themes like the Japanese values, politeness, culture of respect and their link to the religion will be addressed.
We finish by going back to the JR Takayama station at 3:30 and hope you enjoyed this tour we us!
10:00 : Visit of UNESCO World Heritage village of Shirakawa GO
Every season is worth it when it comes to Shirakawa GO!
12:30 : Lunch break! Enjoy Takayama's street food, like this Hida beef sushi, exclusive to the Hida-Takayama region.
After lunch we take part in an 1 and a half hour long Shodo class.
14:30 : Japanese style tea preparation and tea tasting, served with local sweets.
The rate includes:
- Pick-up service at the station upon arrival
- Private bus transfers for the duration of the tour
- Snacks during tea tasting (LUNCH NOT INCLUDED)
- European, english speaking tour leader living in Takayama, who supports the japanese staff and will accompagny you throughout the tour. Fluent in Japanese, English and Italian
- Hard sheet (shikishi) for writing your own Japanese calligraphy
- Japanese calligraphy lesson
- Tea preparation lesson
- Discussion on Japanese culture
- Escort to JR Takayama station at the end of the tour
Useful items to bring:
- Bug repellent and/or spray (Summer)
Convinced ? Book now!
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