The tour I joined include a free lunch, very good lunch I must say and a free ticket to an open museum.
The open museum was big and really nice lots of things to see.
I’m not sure if it is only on the peak season, but vehicles other than those of the local residents are not allowed within the village itself, I can understand why, it would be chaos and would disrupt the lives of the villagers. To get to the village from the designated parking area, there is only one way in our out : hanging bridge.
People stopping every now and then to take pictures like this 🙂
There are 4 or 5 houses that allows guest to look around their houses for a fee, I think 300yen per house. These houses are not for show, people are actually living in them so be courteous and polite when you visit them 🙂
I did not intrude in any of these houses, I was more than happy just to get a glimpse of the village and the houses and it will be a reason for me to go back.
Shirakawago has been gaining a lot of attention lately, so shops that sells trinket and local food are now popping up to cater to local and foreign tourist. It’s getting more touristy, somehow I like Gokayama better. There is still that feeling of intimacy with the village itself but Shirakawago is definitely a place to visit during winter break if not for the view 🙂