Category Archives: Scenery

Historic Villages of Shirakawa

About 2 hrs from Gero is the historic village of Shirakawa. For a few weeks of the year, they illuminate the gassho-zukuri farmhouses. I had seen pictures on the internet, and it looked really cool, so we were game for the drive. Dietz and I hopped in the car, manned only with our phone GPS. It was snowing like crazy (and pretty cold) at Ogimachi, but it was beautiful. If you want to look at it when it’s not a winter wonderland, check it out here.



Monkey Cam

If you ever need a pick-me up, check out the monkey camera from Jigokudani Yaen-koen. It makes me smile every time.


The sun triumphs (for now)

It took about three days for the snow to (mostly) melt away. Enjoying the sunshine while we can – it’s going to be a cold winter. (cont’d)

sNOw way!

Lots and lots of snow this weekend!! (cont’d)

Winter is coming…

Glad I took a picture of the beautiful tree earlier this week, because the first snowflakes arrived in Gero on Thursday… (cont’d)



Hida Shokawa Festival

Ventured out past Takayama to see the Renjishi dance at the Hida Shokawa Hometown Festival. After they were done performing, the renjishi made their way into the crowd. This caused every child under 3 to burst into tears. As an added bonus, on the path up to the festival, there were some Gassho-style houses for us to explore. You can watch the renjishi dance here and here.


Hida Mountains

Overlooking Takayama and the Hida Mountains. It was a beautiful day – even if we only caught the last few hours of daylight! (cont’d)



After all of the meetings, Ryan-san was able to fit a few hours of Hida River fishing. It was pretty anti-climactic. The basics of pole fishing, “You take a bait fish and dress him up with extra hooks and then play him out front hoping others wild fish school w/ him and get hooked by the trailing hook you planted.” Hmmm… (cont’d)

Kankou yana!

Kankou yana! The river water flows down through the structure, and if there are any fish in that water, the fish end up above the grates. The fish flop around on the ramp until they either:

1. Find their way through the grates and back into the river or

2. Someone (or something) picks them up for dinner.

This is a neat way for kids to get acquainted with the water/fishing in a relatively safe setting. We took some videos, but we didn’t see any fish. The video below show it in action (around 0:19). The video is someone’s vacation to Gero, so it is a little awkward to watch the entire thing. Of course, if you don’t want people to watch it, it shouldn’t go on youtube in the first place…

The fish on the left go through the grates, the fish on the right go down the rapids. Not sure which is better…

Kankou yana

Fields in Takayama

Found some pictures from the May visit to Takayama. More rice field planting (cont’d)

The drive to Takayama

Fields in Takayama

Grow food instead of yards.


Cranes lunching in the rice fields.

Cranes in the rice fields.


The very hungry caterpillar

Mr. Caterpillar having dinner in our flower bed.