Photos: Dea Soetrisno
“Behind the bustling metro cities of Japan lies a winter wonderland like you have never seen before. I will take you through my journey exploring the Gifu and Yamagata prefectures, where nature surrounds the traditional side of ancient Japan.”
Dea's off-the-beaten-track winter escape tips for Japan
- Challenge yourself by climbing 1000 stairs to Risshaku-ji Temple, the view is worth it but beware of the slippery ice.
- Take a boat tour along the Geibikei Gorge in Iwate Prefecture, surrounded by sandstone cliffs while cruising this tranquil narrow stream.
- Get a glimpse of the historic traditional village in Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture, where the farmhouses “Gassho-zukuri” were built without a single nail.
- Experience the alpine route by train from Nagoya to Takayama and take in the beautiful scenery of the Japan Alps.
- While in Takayama, it is a great time to indulge your taste buds with world-famous Hida beef. This is a special type of wagyu (Japanese beef) from central Japan.
- Take a walk in quaint Sanmachi Suji where the traditional touch still remains. Immerse yourself in a beautifully preserved building from Edo period. It is best to do this early in the morning while the streets are still quiet.
- Visit the Kamakura Winter Festival in Yokote. Brave the cold and head up north, where you will find a small town filled with small snow huts or igloos. This festival is held every year on February 15th and 16th.