Nearly spending a night in a train station - Day 5 in Japan: Shirakawa-go

6 July 2017

Continuation of my 2 years overdue post :') Me missing Japan, missing the food there, and missing my long and (at that time) very voluminous hair. T_T

Photo taken from the bus on the way up to Shirakawa-Go. We arrived at approximately 1:20p.m. (i think)

After our super filling yummy hotel-picnic lunch from Hyakubanmart 100 Mart, we hurried back to the station to wait for our bus up to Shirakawa-go. As we were there during December, it was winter and we were expecting a snow covered village. Unfortunately for us, during the day we were there, the weather wasn't as cold as usual and we only managed to catch bits and bits of snow. So if you're interested to read about my Shirakawa-Go with minimal to no snow (笑) during winter experience (笑 again) please keep on reading. (苦笑)

We weren't there with any tours so as soon as we got off the bus, we were free to roam around for a couple of hours. As long as we make it back for our evening bus back to Takayama, we're good. If you're wondering why we did not take a bus direct back to Kanazawa, it's because the bus back to Kanazawa was full so we had no choice but to go through a more indirect route ahaha.

Snow-less walks. Ok la, actually, even though Shirakawa-Go wasn't covered in snow when we were there, it was still a nice trip. Who knows, maybe I wouldn't enjoy it if there was snow? ((I was freezing so bad while waiting for the evening bus, so can you imagine how cold I'd be if there was snow? Ok Candace, stop cheering yourself up. ))

Came across this doggie statue outside a shop. Someone even placed a pair of specs on it ahaha!

When you're so used to the city life and also because Shirakawa-Go wasn't over populated, (especially with tourists like us) walking around with cool air surrounding you and observing these architectures was pretty fresh and nice.

and we found snow HAHAHA. A kid made a snowman outta the snow. 

There was pretty much one spot where all tourists HAVE TO go at Shirakawa-go(not this lake lol), if I did not recall wrongly, it's known as an observation deck (?) While heading to the observation deck to see the village from top view, we came across this blue river(?) This photo is un-filtered un-edited btw. It was literally that blue. 

We got to the observation deck/area about 2:30p.m. I'm not sure if you could walk all the way up here, but we took the free shuttle bus to get here :3 We did not want to risk not making it back to the bus transit in the evening so we've decided to get up there to snap photos first then only continue exploring the village. 

We were at Shirakawa-Go on the 22nd of December. Supposedly during that time, this whole place was supposed to be covered in snow. Oh well, not lucky enough I guess. Maybe this is fate trying to tell us that we need to visit Shirakawa-Go again ahahaha! 

There's a professional photographer there to help you take photos with their camera and print them out for you to purchase, but instead we've decided to ask the photographer to help us snap a family group photo with our own camera instead. #HowToSaveMoneyWithCandace101. Here's a photo of me though, cause the fam is shy ^^"

hahahahaha I miss my hair.

The weather was really nice when we first got there but it gradually got much much cooler. Often times throughout the trip I was really glad that I was wearing this Uniqlo coat. It's super warm and also has a hoodie! In case it starts drizzling, I can just put the hoodie on then slowly open up the umbrella! (while everyone else quickly struggles to open their umbrellas)

Bunny twinning with my sister! 

After all the photo snapping, we explored the village a little more and got back to the bus transit(?) parking(?) area to wait for our bus to Takayama. Of course the Shirakawa go - Kanazawa bus arrived first and we're just freezing there....watching everyone going back to Kanazawa while we just...kept freezing. Thank goodness Japan has vending machines with HOT DRINKS!! It was early evening at that time and we were already freezing so bad, our heat patch was losing it's heat too so we got a can of hot BOSS coffee to pass around. 

basic life hack: put the hot can in your coat's pockets for 30 seconds then pass to another person with you to repeat the process, then you'll have warm pockets to keep your hands warm for a couple minutes! 

We got to Takayama around 5:40p.m. + I think? Because it's winter, the sky was already pitch black. Also noticed that we were the only ones in that bus returning to Kanazawa via this route lol.

After roaming around to look for a restaurant nearby the station, we noticed that most eateries were already closed. There were only a handful of eateries nearby that were open but a number of them were only open to locals. Some opened eateries included underground bars, being a family trip with a 12 year old, obviously we can't dine at bars lol. (and we're too scared to go for one either lol)

No worries though, worst case scenario, there's a Family Mart nearby Takayama station, so if you die die cannot find food during winter at that hour, Family Mart can be your life savior. ^^ We also grabbed some snacks from Family Mart before leaving Takayama! 

While roaming [very] aimlessly, we stumbled across this Gokuu Curry Cafe! We were also lucky enough to get a table because when another family of tourists came in 10mins later, the shop was already not taking in more customers. 

The cafe was relatively small and couple minutes after that family left, they've closed a section for a private event while the section we were seated at could only sit two tables. (we occupied one and another family of tourists whom came earlier than us occupied the other) 

Because we were at Takayama, we got to try Hida Beef! Their menu allows you to order either ala-cart or with a set. Like most Japanese curry, you get to choose your spiciness level too. We went for medium and it wasn't spicy at all I think (from what I can recall two years after eating it la haha) Y'know, when watching Kimi no Na Wa (君の名は), it brought back so much feels to my short little night trip at Takayama cause the movie was based at Hida!! 

Here's the minced Hida beef curry rice my mom ordered. Expectation vs Reality quite on point weih. We opted for the ala cart option but I can't remember how much the meal costs. (sorry!)

The rest of us ordered a fried pork katsu curry rice. Very yummy too! Plus we were freezing and starving while aimlessly walking around in search for food, so I'm sure the curry rice tasted 10x yummier. (fyi this is coming from someone that isn't a fan of curry rice ok. I don't mind eating it just that if I had an option, I wouldn't choose curry rice)

Here's the intense part. We had to make sure we were super on time for this train schedule. Otherwise we'd either end up sleeping at Takayama Station (ok la there's a hotel nearby) or Inotani Station LOL.  If I did not recall wrongly, we were taking the last JR train out from Takayama to Inotani so we made sure we were super on time. None of us had been to Inotani, so we pretty much have no idea how huge it is. Meaning we have no idea how far apart was the platform we got off compared to the platform we had to get on to catch the train to Toyama. (plus we only had 10 minutes interval to catch that train) 

So we walked as fast as we could. We made it on time and the train was already there. It was pretty scary though cause there was literally no one on that platform except for this 1 girl. After sitting in the train for a while, it started moving and about less than an hour, we've arrived at Toyama!

When we arrived at Toyama. The station looked super new and modern and bright ahaha! So with 15 minutes interval this time, we quickly started searching for the shinkansen platform. I don't really remember what happened here but I remember that we had some questions/issues but we settled it real quick at the counter and we managed to catch the train back to Kanazawa in time.

From a short memory loss I also recall almost walking towards the wrong platform at one of the stations ahaha. ( we actually climbed a flight of stairs halfway then we had to quickly walk back down and up to the opposite stairs lmao. )

So this sums up my stay at Kanazawa! If you want a simple city that isn't too crowded to relax/clear your mind, I highly recommend Kanazawa! (or Hiroshima!) As much as I've loved all the shops at Tokyo, if I was gonna relax, Kanazawa is definitely my pick! 

Thanks for reading :3 

Stay tuned for my next Japan travelog posting about Tokyo trip!

Ciao ciao! 

Japan Travelog:


  1. How interesting! I love the melting snowman ;) and the lake too. Wish I could get a bite of the pork curry+rice. Yummy!!

  2. Am planning to visit other countries in winter time but I cannot stand cold - just looking at you and learning about the heat patch gives me hope that I can go through the coldness too.

  3. Almost every friend of mine who traveled to JP before also said they miss there, aha! Hope to step on the land in near future!

  4. Glad there is a family mart there haha. But the view is nice :)

  5. I.'m love your travel photo. Really want to go there ;)

  6. Travelling is a real adventure. That's when we know how much we can endure one another!

  7. You got me on this post. Its good that you can travel in anywhere in Japan with your family.Japan is one of my childhood dream destination but i would like to visit the nagoya or other provinces.I will definitely read more of your post


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