Shirakawago is a timeless glimpse at a bygone era and a place everyone visiting Japan should make an effort to get to. And it does need effort as it’s not the closest place to the main touristy draw cards. From its nearest big city Nagoya, it’s about a 3hr tour bus ride or 4hr by train and bus on public transport.
So, how about riding? It’s about 150km directly north from Nagoya and ought to take two to two and a half hours. However, I rode from Yokohama and the shortest route is around 360km and from Matsumoto to Takayama has some great twisties and fantastic views. But, winter snow and ice makes the short route dicy if it’s open. So, it was a safe 450km+ mostly expressway jaunt.
Making it to that last long tunnel was like Shirakawago was rolling out a big warm welcome mat for all the effort.
Got to get back and stay longer next time… Next time… How many attempts and years will that take? 😂