A visit to Shirakawago was on my list for quite some time now. I was also closely monitoring the weather channel in hopes that there would be some residual snow but no snowfall and the temperature would be slightly warmer (~11 °C). But alas, it was not meant to be. It was actually hovering between -2 °C to 1 °C. As the bus rode up the slopes, there was some snowfall going on which I thought was rainfall since it was my first time experiencing a snowfall. The coldness started to seep in through the bus but it hit full force when I stepped off the bus when we arrived. Coupled with the snowfall, it made for some beautiful pictures (the place looks better in winter). But I ended up with soaking wet feet (I didn’t have waterproof boots) and cold rash for the next 2 weeks. Of course, with my first time experiencing snow in its full glory, it was ooh-aah nice in the first 5 mins, and painful coldness for the reminder of my time there.
As I was walking up the slope to this viewpoint, I felt my umbrella getting heavier and sinking lower, so when I accidentally tilt it to one side, all the snow just slide off. Haha, I didn’t even realise snow was collecting on it. The snowfall made for a poor overview of the houses at the viewpoint.
I attempted to locate a restaurant I wanted to have lunch at and walk up through wet roads only to be welcome with a sign that says they’re on winter break. Cold, wet and feeling really miserable at this point, I found this place that was open (it seemed like it was the only one) that sold food. Had a nice warm bowl of noodles before venturing back out to the bus station to wait for my bus.
Unfortunately, I over-catered for my time here and book for a bus that depart for Kanazawa at 2 pm when I was all ready to leave by 11.30 am. That day was also packed so I couldn’t exchange my ticket for an earlier time slot. Also, the waiting area should really invest in a heater. Without the heater and the doors opening every other second as people walked in and out, everyone was just feeling really cold. Because my feet were wet, I also started to shiver miserably until I could get on my bus. Of course the snowfall had to stop and the sun showed itself when it was time for me to depart.
My initial plan was to explore a bit of Kanazawa before heading back to Tokyo, but seeing the snowfall as we drove into town make me decide enough was enough. I reserved for a JR ticket back and stayed in the train station until it was time to leave. When I got back, I headed to the mall near Tokyo Dome (which was within walking distance of my hotel) on a mission to find waterproof boots. But it was a tad too costly for my budget and I didn’t want to withdraw more money at this point. So I headed back to seek cover under the blankets. Till the next post, bye!