exchange / travel

winter in takayama

Having lived in Australia my entire life, the sight of pristine, white snow never seems to get old for me. In fact, that’s one of the top reasons I was keen on visiting Takayama (高山市) a historic little town in the middle of Gifu prefecture! During the year the mountains are covered in lush greenery, but most will agree that the magic really happens in the colder months. After a good dose of snowfall the buildings will be heavily blanketed in white, and the scenery transforms into a wintery wonderland.


There’s so much to explore around the town itself, from little alleyways to stalls selling everything from dango skewers to meat buns. There are also tons of cute cafes to be found, so my friends and I couldn’t resist stopping by for some matcha desserts!


It may take two bus rides to see the famous thatched houses of Shirakawa-go (白川郷), but it’s totally worth the journey. It’s literally impossible to get a bad photo of the view here; at every angle I felt like I’d stepped straight into a Christmas card! Sadly we couldn’t stay until nightfall, but seeing the houses lit up in the snow really would’ve been something special.

We proceeded to explore the cottages below, where I made some new farmer friends. Despite my concerns about the temperature being freezing, the weather that day was gorgeous. In fact, I think choosing to wear my down filled coat was a bit overkill…


I was super confused by this little guy at first, but apparently his outfit is called a minoboushi! It’s literally a straw hat used for protection from the snow, although they’re seemingly not as popular nowadays…


Before leaving we picked up some croquettes, which were stuffed with the region’s famous Hida beef. I seriously wish I had more time to sample all the amazing food, but the huge task of packing was already waiting for me back at home. Stay tuned for the last of my travel posts soon, though!