On the way to the thatched roof cottage village in Shirakawago we encountered a lot of snow but by the time we got there it had stopped.
There are 114 of the thatch roof houses in the village which became a World Heritage site in 1995. These type of houses have existed here since 1460.
The 2 photos above were taken at the same place. The top one was taken on April 10 and the one below was taken on June 6 by my friends who were also touring Japan.
To get to the village we have to cross the river on the suspension bridge.
The house we visited is called the Kanda House and it was built in the mid 1800’s.
The style of these houses is a steep A-frame with a thick thatch of grass for the roof.
The grass that they use looks to me like Miscanthus (Japanese Maiden Grass). The bottom photo shows a house where they are replacing the roof which must be done every 40 years or so.
The Kanda House has 5 floors. The bottom floor is the main living area and has a central fireplace.
The heat and the smoke rise up to the second floor through these vents:
The stairs go to the second floor where the raising of silk worms took place.
The third floor has a little smaller floor area but a lot of open space for sleeping and nice views of the village.
The fourth floor is smaller still but you can still walk around.
The fifth floor has restricted head room but it is good for storage. Heat and smoke from the bottom floor fireplace rise up to the fifth floor.
The house used no nails but instead everything is connected by ropes.
Here are some scenes from this very picturesque village:
Lunch was a traditional Japanese meal.
Kosengama Kutani Pottery
We then went to visit a place where they made expensive ceramics and were given a demonstration of the process of making different kinds of dishes and pots.
They wouldn’t let us take pictures of the finished product so I bought a set of 5 small plates so I could photograph them in my hotel room. I will give them to my daughter or if she doesn’t want them to my daughter-in-law.
The day was finished off with a Geisha show: