[JAPAN 2014] Day 1: Takayama & Shirakawago

I was excited at the chance to go to Japan again. This all came about when my sister announced she's getting married. Here in Malaysia there's a certain cultural expectation that when the younger sister married before the older sister is (the older sister being moi), the younger sister (and the hubby-to-be) would have to give a sort of gift to the older sister. Don't ask me why this kind of thing exists, I don't make the rules.

Being the wanderlust traveller that I am, I asked her for.... a flight ticket to Japan. LOL. (Usually people would ask for things like a gold ring, bracelet and the likes haha. So most people would laugh when they heard what I asked for.)

I roped in one of my uni's ex-roommate to join us since I knew she was interested and she roped in her younger sister and her sister's friend. So that completes a great 4pax number for our trip :)

Left for Japan in the afternoon and arrived at around 11pm. As my co-travellers were worried about transiting so late at night but didn't want to spend too much money on the hotel near the airport, we opted to just sleep at the airport before catching the earliest train to Shirakawa-go.

Was happy to find out before we leave that Kansai Airport now has a surau/musolla/prayer room for Muslims! :D 

After exchanging our JR pass at the ticketing counter and booking our train seats, we were off to Takayama and Shirakawago!

We took the Hida Wide View train and the view was really great along the way, plus it's covered by JR pass so definitely give it a go if you're going to Takayama/Shirakawago.

Arrived in Takayama in the late afternoon and we went to book our bus tickets to Shirakawago. We decided to rent a bike for a brief sightseeing session around Takayama before we took our Shirakawago bus and it was one of the best decisions we made - definitely more fun to go around using the bicycles since we had no specific places we wanted to go and just wanted to wander around before we had to take the bus.

You can get a map of Takayama at the info center :D

After an hour or so of going around in Takayama, it was time for our bus to Shirakawago! 

I don't remember how we discovered about Shirakawago but all of us wanted to go and experience it, even though it wasn't the best season to go there (the best would be during winter with the snow piling on top of the minshuku rooftops). I'm glad we went there because even during late spring, it was a beautifully preserved village. 

We arrived in the late evening so we prepared ourselves with the provided yukata and had a SUPER delicious dinner at the minshuku we stayed at (Magoemon). Magoemon was one of the highly recommended minshuku at Shirakawago but there are a few other choices and I don't think you'd go wrong with any of them.

Bought this for a late night snack :P Little did I know dinner rendered this unncessary.
No lie, one of the best meals I had for this trip! 

It's such a simple dish, but oh my GOD it's delicious.

I felt like bringing these home they were so comfortable!

After the great dinner, we went to bed and was excited for the next day.

Go to Day 2 (Shirakawago)
Japan 2014 Masterpost