Just like Fall, when you live here in Gifu city, you also have to go on a small day-trip to find winter. Well, more accurately, to find snow.
To me, winter and snow are still inseparable concepts. Last year I enjoyed the absence of snow and the mild winter, this year I find myself really missing the peace and stillness of a snow storm. The way it forces everyone to stop and slow down, it changes plans, and reminds us that we do not have ultimate control. Perhaps being away from the inconveniences of snow has made it easier to seem so idyllic. Perhaps when snow is part of my reality again, shoveling and driving through it, my perception will change. But for now I long for it and I am jealous of those of you that get to experience the magic of snow for more than one day this winter.
Even though we will, most likely, only experience snow this one time, we sure did make the most of it. We took a day trip up to Shirakawa-go, you may remember us talking about this place when we went there for their famous sake festival.
Ever since we went there for the festival, I knew I wanted to go back in the winter. I knew it would be the perfect place for a little snow experience, because those traditional thatched houses would look stunning under a sizable layer of snow. Shirakawa-go is a bit off the beaten trail, however, and not easily accessible with public transport. Fortunately, we were able to call on our good friend, and exceptional tour guide, Tanaka to take us there.
As we were driving through the mountains the snow started to fall, at first it was just flurries, but then it increased into a substantial little storm. It made the driving a bit more challenging, but it also meant that I was sure to get the snow day that I have desperately been craving. Once we drove into town, I was ecstatic to see all the snow. It was everywhere, and it was still falling!!
We both got to make snowballs.
We saw little patches of green, struggling to survive the winter months.
And we got to go to the lookout on the top of the mountain to see the village below. In the winter the view is so different.
And the real bonus of our snow day in Shirakawa-go, we didn’t have to stick around long enough to watch it get all gross and slushy, which is perhaps one of my least favorite things about snow. I always remember it being so beautiful in Chicago for a handful of hours before it got gross and disgusting.