HomeAsiaEast AsiaJapanShirakawa-go Shirakawa-go Itinerary + Budget Travel Guide for first-timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on January 1, 2019. Here’s a starter Shirakawa-go travel guide with sample itinerary, budget, places to visit & more. One thing that I love to do when I travel to a new country is visiting exceptionally beautiful small towns and villages. It comes as no surprise that I found myself in Shirakawa-go during my first trip to Japan. This quaint farm village nestled in the Japanese Alps in Central Japan is famous for its unusually large and steeply-pitched triangular-shaped thatched roof farmhouses. Shirakawa-go along with historic villages in nearby Gokayama are inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Although my itinerary in Japan was a bit tight, I knew I couldn’t pass over the chance of visiting this place… great thing that I did because winter came early during my trip & Shirakawa-go was covered with a fresh layer of snow. Japan winter wonderland achieved! Traveling to Shirakawa-go for the first time? Scroll down to get started on planning your trip. I’ve included a sample itinerary, places to visit/things to do, list of expenses/budget breakdown and extra travel tips. Follow me on Instagram Shirakawa-go Itinerary What to do in Shirakawa-go in 2 days? Here’s a 2 days & 1 nights (2D1N) itinerary for your do-it-yourself (DIY) trip. It’s suited for travelers who plan to enjoy a day trip to Shirakawa-go village from nearby Takayama. Feel free to tweak the activities & timings below based on your traveling style, schedule & attractions that interest you the most. Day 1: Takayama Old Town Kajibashi Bridge, Takayama Higashihayashiyamadaio Temple, Takayama Takayama Shinshuotaniha Shoren Temple, Takayama Time Activity Train or Bus to Takayama Station Takayama hotel check-in Cheapest ratesBest reviews Explore Takayama Old Town I decided to spend the night in Takayama because of Nohi bus’ convenient Kyoto-Takayama & Takayama-Kawaguchi bus routes that fit my Japan itinerary well. It’s an added bonus that I got to visit Takayama Old Town as well. Depending on your schedule, you can also consider taking the Shirakawa-go day trip from Nagoya or Toyama. Day 2: Shirakawa-go and Gokayama Marcos at Ainokura village Shirakawa-go village view from Shiroyama viewpoint Marcos with Shirakawa-go village view from Shiroyama viewpoint Shirakawa-go traditional food – Lunch at Tenshukaku Observatory Time Activity 0820 AM Meet-up for Shirakawa-go and Gokayama tour at Takayama Nohi Bus Center Ticket Office 0820 AM Depart from Takayama 0945 AM Explore Ainokura Village Pass by Gokayama Village on the way to Shirakawa-go PM Lunch at Tenshukaku Observatory/Shiroyama Viewpoint Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum, Shirakawa-go Marcos at Shirakawa-go Village Shirakawa-go Village Shirakawa-go Village Time Activity Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum Eat Soba ice cream Deai Bridge Free time in Shirakawa-go Village Wada House Shirakawa-go to Takayama bus Train/bus to onward destination Shirakawa-go Budget Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 2 days and 1 nights (2D1N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices. Activities/attraction costs breakdown JPY 6,690 Shirakawa-go Guided Tour with Lunch — Per person guided tour price. Day tour from Takayama. This is excellent value for money considering the Takayama-Shirakawago roundtrip regular bus fare already costs JPY 4,420. Join this tour to enjoy hassle-free transport not only to Shirakawago, but also Ainokura Gokayama village, professional guide and lunch at Tenshukaku Observatory (included in tour fee). In addition, you also have the option of joining the scheduled mid-afternoon bus back to Takayama. Or, any of the regular Nohi bus schedules later that day. Picked the ‘later bus’ option & enjoyed more free time exploring the Shirakawa-go village.Book here Budget Trip – Backpacker expenses JPY 2,500 Accommodations — Price per night in a budget hostel dorm JPY 3,750 Food — JPY 2,500 per day inexpensive meals budget x 1.5 days. JPY 6,250 Sub-total — Excluding attractions/activities, flights & train/bus to Takayama. Including accommodations, food. Approximately PHP 2,986 / USD 56 / SGD 77. Or, a daily budget of JPY 3,125 / PHP 1,493 / USD 28 / SGD 39. JPY 6,690 Activities — Per person tour price. From Takayama. Including lunch & stopover at Gokayama Ainokiura village JPY 12,940 Total — Including activities & expenses above. Approximately PHP 6,182 / USD 117 / SGD 160. Or, a daily budget of JPY 6,470 / PHP 3,091 / USD 58 / SGD 80. I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can do the trip. If you have money to splurge on hotels, food, and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted to calculate your own budget. Other activities JPY 8,000 Shirakawa-go Day Tour from Nagoya with Lunch — Includes lunch buffet, roundtrip transfers from Nagoya & hassle-free guided tour. Book well ahead of your trip to reserve your tour slot.Book here JPY 6,780 Shirakawa-go Day Tour from Nagoya — Includes roundtrip transfers from Nagoya & hassle-free guided tour. Book well ahead of your trip to reserve your tour slot.Book online JPY 13,000 Winter Illumination Wonderland in Shirakawa-go — Includes roundtrip transfers from Takayama or Nagoya, Hida beef meal for lunch & hassle-free guided tour. Book well ahead of your trip to reserve your tour slot.Book here JPY 14,000 5 Day JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass — In case you plan on enjoying an extended trip in Central Japan. Includes unlimited rides on selected JR train lines for 5 days. Plus, buses to Shirakawa-go, Ainokura & Suganuma Gokayama. Must book this early to grab cheaper price online, at least 2 weeks ahead of travel date.Book here Other expenses JPY 1,067 Japan local 4G/4G SIM card — 1GB data for 6 days & up. Japan airport pick-up.Book discount here JPY 500 Japan pocket WIFI hotspot — Per day device rental.Book discount here Japan travel insuranceBook online Shirakawa-go Itineraries & Travel Blogs More travel tips coming once the detailed Shirakawa-go travel guide is out. In the meantime, feel free to check out my Pinterest board and list of helpful Shirakawa-go travel blogs below for inspiration. https://www.pinterest.ph/detourista/shirakawa-go-travel-guide-blog/ https://www.pinterest.ph/detourista/japan-travel-guide-blog/ Follow updates on Pinterest@detourista. 1 Day Itinerary What to do in Shirakawa-go in 1 day. Visit Guide To Visiting Shirakawa-go In One Day (how To Get There, Travel Guide With Printable Map, Where To Eat) – iWandered Visit Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Osaka or Kyoto – JP Rail Blog 4 days What to do in Shirakawa-go & beyond in 4 days. Visit The Perfect 4 Days Itinerary For Shirakawa-go, Takayama, Kanazawa & Nagoya – Central Japan Travel Guide – iWandered 5 days What to do in Shirakawa-go & beyond in 5 days. Visit Shirakawa-go On A Budget 2018: 5 Days Shirakawa-go, Takayama & Nagoya Itinerary & Travel Guide – The Poor Traveler Visit 5 Days Nagoya Itinerary Blog And Central Japan Itinerary – The Pinay Solo Backpacker 6 Days Itinerary What to do in Shirakawa-go & beyond in 6 days. Visit 6d5n Takayama-hokuriku Experience Itinerary – Shirakawa-go – Kampung Boy City Gal 1 Week Itinerary What to do in Shirakawa-go & beyond in 1 week (7 days or more). Visit Outside Popular Japan Cities: Fujikawaguchiko & Takayama On A Budget – 7 Days For Less Than ₱35,000 – The Wknd Travel https://www.pinterest.com/detourista/best-of-detourista/ Don’t Stop Here Did you find this travel guide helpful? Share your Shirakawa-go experience & tag #detourista. Follow trip updates on: Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest. Check out these pages for more travel inspiration beyond Shirakawa-go: Japan Itinerary + Travel Guide Osaka Itinerary + Travel Guide Mount Fuji Itinerary + Travel Guide Tokyo Itinerary + Travel Guide Don’t leave yet. There’s more! Singapore Itinerary + Budget Travel Guide for first-timersHong Kong Itinerary + Budget Travel Guide for first-timersBohol & Panglao 2023 - Travel Budget & Sample ItineraryBoracay Itineray + Travel Budget Guide Discover more blogs and travel tips in: Shirakawa-go JapanEast AsiaAsia See all places Find more posts about:Featured Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment * Name * Email * Website Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Comments Christine says November 22, 2019 at 11:52 am Hi I will be going to japan next year in January during winter, and if I would to go tour for Shirakawa-go and jigokudani snow monkey, which place should I start first? As I’ll be traveling to northern part of japan (Tohoku) after the two places mentioned earlier, I’m not sure whether to begin my travel around Tokyo 2 days once I landed Narita airport or after the end of Tohoku travel. Your suggestion is much appreciated. Thank you. Reply Marcos Detourista says November 22, 2019 at 1:58 pm Hi Christine! I usually consider going to the most distant/remote destination first, and then travel my way towards my exit airport. That way, you can manage your time better and avoid rushing to catch your return flight. In this case, I would do: Shirakawa-go –> Jigokudani –> Tohoku –> Tokyo OR Tohoku –> Shirakawa-go –> Jigokudani –> Tokyo Reply Christine says November 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm Hi Marcos Great idea and appreciate your help. Thanks. Cheers ?