A Winter in Shirakawa-gō

The Shirakawa-go town is only illuminated on select evenings in winter so don’t go there without looking into it beforehand!

I managed to live in Japan all those years but wouldn’t catch sight of one of the most important winter tourist wonders. But this year, all the energy in the air made me rent a car to go on a 5-hour sliding trip onto the mountain passes to… Shirakawa-go!


The arrival into the valley is wonderful and is definitely worth the rugged ride. My fiancée and I are delighted: our romantic escapade sure looks great! Shirakawa-go (town in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites) is nicely lit and the nicest houses are made to be seen, all in their humble ways. It’s superb!

Shirakawa-go by night

It’s quite hard to take decent pictures among the tourists that are everywhere so we just enjoy the atmosphere. I find myself particularly amused to see the Japanese people searching for their position on the map; the town is surely tiny but everyone seems to be trying this game. With the joyous Japanese-ish feeling, we could swear we’re in a child’s dream…

Shirakawa-go Farm

This region is known for its important snowfall during the winter season, which explains the roofing of the houses which avoid the snow to pack. But it’s no chance for us; because this year, there is less snow. So much less that the surrounding inns and shops are worried that tourists might be full of it too soon! To be honest, I came here to have an attempt at making a similar picture to this Shirakawa-go puzzle. And yes, this is the same house as the one above but not exactly in the same scheme.

Shirakawa-go Roof

The next day, we came back in town hoping we could grab nice colours. But unfortunately, no blue skies and even less snow than yesterday! Actually, in theses conditions, Shirakawa-go is way nicer by night. Nonetheless, here what the town looks like in broad day.

Shirakawa-go Street

The Shirakawa-go town is only illuminated on select evenings in winter so don’t go there without looking into it beforehand! By the way, did you have the chance to take pictures of the town under the snow, day or night shots? If so, you’d be kind to share it with everyone in the comments 🙂

And for more awesome content about Japan, follow Jordy Meow on Instagram ! 🎵

Who Am I

I am Jordy Meow, a French photographer based in Tokyo. I explore offbeat places in Japan.


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