Ainokura Traditional Houses in Gokayama 五箇山

Ainokura

October 16th.

Michi no eki Alp Hida Furukawa

Last night’s michi-no-eki Alp Hida Furukawa is, in retrospect, worth recommending as a Shachuhaku spot – large car park, spacious toilet and rubbish bins provided. It was also quiet but that may have been due to the incessant rain.

Gokayama-Ainokura

Ainokura

 

Gokayama-Ainokura

Ainokura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rain persists and we wonder how to spend the day.  Finally, we decide to drive towards Shirakawago, as this is a scenic route, and visit Ainokura.  Ainokura has houses similar to those of Shirakawago but fewer in number and in a less picturesque setting. It also has far fewer visitors and, as a consequence, is more pleasant to visit.

Michi no eki Kamitaira restaurant Iwana Gokayama

On our way, we stop for lunch at michi-no-eki Kamitaira. This michi-no-eki has a restaurant called ‘Iwana Gokayama-shokudo’ which specializes in Iwana. A river fish species. I had Set A, noted for a complete absence of Iwana. For 900 yen this was excellent quality and value. D. had Set B. and was also very satisfied.

From the rear tables you can dine with a view of a thin waterfall plunging down the crags into the river far below. A little too early for Koyo (Autumn Leaves) but very pretty. Highly recommended.

Ainokura

From michi-no-eki Kamitaira, we move on to Ainokura and wander around in a thin drizzle but we need to stretch our legs. It is not nearly as impressive as Shirakawago but, for me, Shirakawago has been ruined by the vast number of tourists. These have been arriving by the bus load since it became a world heritage site and, anyway, Ainokura has its moments.

Ainokura

Ainokura

From there we make a stop in Toyama to pick up supplies and then to Tateyama Station to spend the night in the car park. The toilet is very far and it is still raining, by now rather hard, but the forecast for tomorrow is fine. We can but hope.

 

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