Japanese stories. 04

Here we go again. July is almost in its end and I’m back to my blog. I have several days left before my flight to see parents, so, I will try to push myself as hard as I can to finish Japanese posts and some of  the posts about what the hell I was doing all these months and why I was so silent here in the blog. It’s gonna be fun. I promise.

The picture to the post is the screenshot from anime Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

So, when I was in Nagoya I already made a plan to go to visit Shirakawa-go, the village that inspired the creators of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (anime show and visual novel about different timelines and school guys trying to fix weird things). Basically I ended up in Nagoya to see the village, because from Nagoya the tickets are cheaper and it’s more convenient to get to the village.

Some of my Japanese friends told me it’s not worth it, better find other places to visit. However, I’m a stubborn person, I made up my mind, bought Willexpress tickets and prepared for the trip. On the pics about Shirakawa-go I noticed it looks cool during winter. Didn’t regret much, even the trip was very expensive (about 50-60 bucks round trip bus tickets).

When I came to the station early in the morning, when I woke up at the destination I was… Disappointed. The entrance is through the tunnel on the photo above. Snow was melting. Everything looked like early spring. Water everywhere, people everywhere, tourists. I was happy there are multiple tickets back to Nagoya anytime a day. If you’re bored you can buy a ticket and get the hell out of there. Unfortunately I already got one.

This is how the village streets looked like. I came there early and caught almost empty streets. But they were crowded very very soon. As you can see there are not many shops, streets are small, there is nothing around except mountains and forests.

Most of the people try to make shots in front of the houses. They are very curious about the structure of the houses that are still inhabited by real people, real families. Then everyone goes to the bridge across the river.

This is the river. Not a season for sure. You may go down through snow and make more pictures from the below and even jump around on stones.

Little garden covered with snow. Several days before there was a blizzard. Villagers just clean the streets and the way to the house but not gardens. I with I could see the village during summer. But probably it will never happen.

Here is the bridge. More and more tourists from hour to hour. Who comes most? Chinese of course. The place is crawling with Chinese. Young couples, girls making one hundred million selfies in front of everything and their speechless boyfriends carrying their fem bags, helping with pics. Rarely there are companies of girls (also Chinese) making pics every second. Then there are many Philippine and Malaysia tourists. Not many Japanese. More European than US tourists.

Yep. While going down I tore apart my jeans. Shame shame shame. Had to walk around with my underwear revealed to everyone… Not the thing I really planned before going to the village. Hopefully it wasn’t cold at all.

By the way in summer there is a nice stairway to the river. Suppose that’s the way was used in anime for Wataganashi festival.

Little shrine for Oyashiro-sama? You never know.

And this is the view from the hill. You may compare this shot with the one in anime (first pic for the post). On the viewpoint you may stay as long as you want. There is a small shuttle bus coming up and down (NOT free) every half an hour. There is a queue to get onto the bus. I don’t even want to think what is happening in summer when there are more tourists.

You may also go up and then down on foot. There is almost nothing on the way except several houses with villagers and one restaurant. In the whole place I didn’t see any mini market. There was one but a bit far from the main street and bus station.

There are also not many restaurants and cafes — just some snacks and souvenir shops. Most of the stuff is more expensive than in bigger cities. No surprise — it’s a tourist Mekka. Although I really don’t recommend to visit Shirakawa-go for long or if you are not an anime fan who wants to see what real Hinamizawa is. Personally I was very disappointed but at the same time didn’t regret I visited the village.

After I left I came back to Nagoya and then… Unexpectedly left to Fujiyoshida. THAT place everyone should see for sure. Next time a batch of photos about mount Fuji.

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