This post is continued from Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 5, Matsumoto to Takaoka via Toyama.
On 5th day, I started the round trip to Himi in early morning. And then I went down to Takayama via Johana line and Shirakawago.
Himi line train trip between Takaoka and Himi
Takaoka 06:52 (Himi line local train) 07:09 Himi 07:27 (Himi line local train) 7:56 Takaoka
I departed from Takaoka in early morning because I wanted to take Himi line before going to Shirakawago. I have taken Himi line when I was high school student. But it was long time ago and I almost lost my memory.
This line is very short but the view is spectacular. When weather is good, Tateyama mountains can be seen over Toyama bay.
However when I took this line at this time, it was cloudy and I could not see any mountains over the bay like the photo above. I will come back there again. I did not have a time to drop by Himi fisherman’s wharf. I have one more reason to come back there anyway.
Johana line train trip from Takaoka to Johana
Takaoka 08:01 (Johana line local train) 08:59 Johana
After train trip on Himi line, I changed the train to Johana. Johana is located on the way to Shirakawago from Takaoka.
If you use JR Pass and take this line, you can save some cost but it is only 100 yen difference. If you take a bus from Takaoka or Shin-Takaoka station, bus fare is 1800 yen. If you take a bus from Johana, the fare is 1700 yen. If you want to have easier trip, just take a bus from Takaoka or Shin-Takaoka. I love train trip more than bus. The difference of the fare was not my concern. I took Johana line train anyway.
Johana line is very typical local line. In the morning, the train is packed by many students.
But most of them got off the train at a few stations away from Takaoka. After that train was almost empty.
The weather was better than when I was on Himi line. I could see some mountains on the way to Johana.
Johana line is very small station. Bus stop is located in front of the station. I waited for Kaetsuno bus to Shirakawago there.
Bus trip to Shirakwago from Johana and sightseeing in Shirakawago
Johana 09:05 (Kaetsuno bus) 10:20 Shirakawago
I got on Kaetsuno bus to Shirawago at Johana. The bus was almost full. I could not get a regular seat. The bus driver suggested me to sit down at jump seat. Most of highway coaches in Japan have jump seat. It is a sort of folding chair at the isle of the bus. When all seats are full in the coach, unfold it from the armrest and sit down.
I had to sit down on the jump seat but I got the front row. I could enjoy the view.
After arrival Ainokuraguchi, many passengers got off.
I took a regular seat. On the way to Shirakawago, we can see many of traditional residence beside the road and the view was very scenic.
Bus arrived at Shirakawago. By the way, the interior of this bus is like the photo below:
It is very typical highway coach. But this bus does not equip washroom. So be prepared before on board.
Sightseeing in Shirakawago
Stay in Shirakawago from 10:20 to 12:15
It was weekday and shoulder season. It was still one week before Chinese New Year. However Shirakawago was so busy. As I mentioned, the bus from Johana was almost full. There were many buses parked in front of information center.
We need to cross the bridge to get the village area from the parking.
You may have see this bridge in other photos before. Many photo of this bridge are shown on SNS, blogs and other website.
Before I walked through village of Shirakawago, I bought something to eat.
This is Gohei-Mochi. It’s a sort of grilled rice cake. This rice cake is one of local foods in this area.
I got on the shuttle bus to the viewpoint.
After 10 minutes ride and I got the viewpoint. The fare is 200 yen one way.
This view point is called “Shiroyama viewpoint” or “Tenshukaku viewpoint”. Most of you may have seen the view from this view point.
I spend there for 20 minutes because bus departs every 20 minutes.
This is most popular view point to see whole part of village. If you visit Shirakawago from spring to autumn, you can hike up to this view point. It takes 20 to 30 minutes on foot to get view point.
When I visited there, shuttle bus stop was located in front of “Wada-ke house” that is one of the landmarks in Shirakawago. But it may be changed. Please ask it at information center to make sure.
After visiting view point, I walked and enjoyed the scenery in the village until the next bus departure time.
After visiting Shirakawago, I went to Takayama and Kanazawa.
Continue to the post, Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 7, visit Takayama and Kanazawa