First Look at Snowy Shirakawago Village
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Just a Bit of Snow random, but color, strangers Shirakawago Village, Toyama Prefecture, Japan -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just a Bit of Snow
random, but color, strangers
Shirakawago Village, Toyama Prefecture, Japan

In my most recent post about our short four-day New Year excursion a few hours' north of Kyoto by car, I ended with our having left Gokayama village (五箇山) after lunch, heading a bit further south to Shirakawago Village (白川郷).

The two villages are both world-heritage sites, famed for their quaint and interesting gasshou zukuri style of construction (built without nails or screws). Shirakawago is by far the more famous, and it suffers for it: it's a tourist attraction that happens to have some quaint buildings. Gokayama, on the other hand, felt like a small village that we just happened upon, and I liked it much more. (I wrote about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, aaaaaaaaaaand here). I'll have fewer posts about Shirakawago.

Slushy, Wet Quagmire of Cold two inches of standing water in the parking lot -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Slushy, Wet Quagmire of Cold
two inches of standing water in the parking lot

During this whole trip I developed a deep appreciation for the in-street water sprinklers that I belittled as “stupid” last year... they turn driving from a slip-slidey white-knuckle experience to normal, but one downside is that their use in a parking lot without proper drainage makes for some very wet and soggy shoes.

Seeking Shelter from the Rising Flood or, just playing on the really big mound of snow -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Seeking Shelter from the Rising Flood
or, just playing on the really big mound of snow
Kid Equivalent of a Bird's Dust Bath? nothing quite so pleasurable as being the first to mess up a virgin area of thick snow -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kid Equivalent of a Bird's Dust Bath?
nothing quite so pleasurable as being the first to mess up a virgin area of thick snow
Poooooofth! flopping into the fresh powder, snow shoots out of the gap between his arms like old faithful -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Poooooofth!
flopping into the fresh powder, snow shoots out of the gap between his arms like old faithful
Roof Shoveling without a net, perhaps gunning for a Darwin award ? -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roof Shoveling
without a net, perhaps gunning for a Darwin award?
Safer Snow Removal -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Safer Snow Removal

The guy by the house in the photo above is holding onto a rope that is tied to the ridge of the roof... to remove snow from the steeply-sloped roof, he just drags the rope from side to side, causing it to slide down. Normally they don't care about the snow buildup on these roofs —. they're designed to hold the weight — but in this case it presents a hazard to customers entering the first-floor shop, so they keep that side of the roof clean.

Anthony in his Element that is, anywhere he can play -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Anthony in his Element
that is, anywhere he can play
Sorta Quaint the quintessential Shirakawago they normally show you -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sorta Quaint
the quintessential Shirakawago they normally show you

This town is much larger than Gokayama, so we saw even less of it than we saw of Gokayama (of which we didn't see most). But we perhaps saw some better spots than most that day because we pushed on away from the most egregiously tourist-trap center of town, out just a bit toward one edge...

Forging Ahead -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/50 sec, f/13, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Forging Ahead
Up and Away “Warning: Slippery when covered in ice and snow” -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Up and Away
“Warning: Slippery when covered in ice and snow”
Less Touristy -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Less Touristy
Hibernating apparently, the whole area was mostly clear of snow two days earlier -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hibernating
apparently, the whole area was mostly clear of snow two days earlier

As everyone guessed properly, this truck's wipers were the answer to yesterday's quiz. I thought it would be the least interesting of my “What am I?” quizzes, which is why I titled it “Snowy Quiz of Questionable Appeal”, but it garnered more guesses than all my other quiz posts, combined.

Little Stream and utility wires -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Little Stream
and utility wires

Unlike Gokayama, Shirakawago is full of utility wires, telephone poles, kitsch, and touristy crap. One must take great care with composition to exclude it from photos. I'm sure the snow helps. I've tried my best in most of these, and have refrained from using Photoshop to help.

Urban Living we're on the public street; there's a house under that big pile of snow -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Urban Living
we're on the public street; there's a house under that big pile of snow
Exposed Edge of the same house -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/800 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Exposed Edge
of the same house
Typical Shirakawago quaint house; quaint utility wires -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Shirakawago
quaint house; quaint utility wires
Less Typical I'm sure that being half snow blind helps in this one -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Less Typical
I'm sure that being half snow blind helps in this one
Wide View without telephone poles! -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wide View
without telephone poles!

It was starting to get a bit chilly, wandering around in the relative wilderness like that, so when we saw a small sign for a cafe pointing down a small path, we decided to give it a try and stop in for something warm.

The path had apparently not been used since the snow started, and I had to try to forage for it among the streams and gardens(?) it passed through.

Little-Used Path covered by a couple of feet of fresh snow -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34 mm — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Little-Used Path
covered by a couple of feet of fresh snow

Continued here...


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Great photos. I visited SHIRA KAWA GO in late 2001 and 2002. Lots of snow then, but, never as much as shown n your photos. Question. What brand of GPS do you use ? I am using one which is similar to the NIKON unit, but, am having issues with it not working in low temperatures. Not as cold as where you were though . I look forward to your comments.
Regards … Peter ( playing tourist in Beijing )

The GPS unit I use is described here —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter G on March 2nd, 2010 at 7:46pm JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey..Many thanks for the reply. I will invesigate this. Regards from Beijing…… Peter

— comment by Peter G on March 2nd, 2010 at 8:02pm JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Loved your snowy pictures of Shirakawago. We will be travelling there next week, 3/13, so now we know what to expect!

— comment by Nicholas on March 4th, 2010 at 1:29pm JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I like your pictures. Much more snow than last year when I was in Shirakawago. Your images remind me how much I like the Japanese and their country.
BTW, I caught a cold there too.

If you have time you may explain how they clean their roofs. Seems clever. I have the same problem every some years at our home in the Bavarian Alpes.

— comment by Rainer on March 14th, 2010 at 2:44am JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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