If you have paid attention to Japan Travel news (or our blog), then for sure you know how pretty the Japan World Heritage – Shirakawa-go is! Even though it is beautiful, but over time, the number of tourist increased, even a paradise on earth can be affected; plus the number of people traveling to central Japan – Kansai is not very high, if you are planning to visit Kyoto, you might want to visit Miyama during this winter, enjoy the peacefulness in the outskirts of Kyoto and the unique Gassho houses.
Gassho houses can be seen everywhere in Miyama, very unique. ©photozou.jp
An antique mailbox at the entrance of the village. ©photozou.jp
Miyama is located in the north of Kyoto, it is quite remote from the city compared to Shirakawa-go. You can take a bus at Sonobe Station or Hinoyohi Station. The following route is recommended by most people, most convenient tour bus routes. The bus schedules are not as often as Shiarakawa-go, and due to this reason, Miyama is still preserved from the huge number of tourist, it is a very peaceful village.
2 hours from from Kyoto City, it is nearer compared to Shirakawa-go, because there are not many tourist and cars.©wedinamess
Heading to Miyama, Kyoto (tour bus):
JR Kyoto -> JR Sonobe Station -> Take a tour bus directly to Miyama.
Just like Shirakawa-go, Miyama’selling point is that it is also filled with traditional Gassho houses and the simple villagers. Miyama is smaller than Shirakawa-go, the sightseeing routes are more or less the same, even without any prior preparation, you will not get lost in the village. Both sides of the road are lined with trees, during April, it is a quiet place for chery blossoms viewing, during January, with the clear white sky, you can enjoy the view where the Gassho houses are covered with snows.
Miyama is located at the north of Kyoto, the possibility of there being snow is very high, during winter, it is a great opportunity to see the snow. ©kellyla1028
Walking around Miyama, though it is not as colourful as Shirakawa, the main attractions are still the antique buildings and sightseeing. They have more varieties of souvenirs compared to Shirakawa, it includes handcrafts, farm products and most of them are made in Miyama; along the road, there are many cafés too, it is good for a warm coffee during winter. It will takes you 1.5 hour to tour the whole Miyama, if you go in the morning, in the afternoon, you can continue with the Kyoto trip.
Similar to Shirakawa, on the 2nd of February, Miyama also has a latern festival. ©Japan-cn
Currently in Japan, the most famous of the three Gassho making villages are Shirakawa (Gifu), Ōuchi-juku (Fukushima) and Miyama-cho (Kyoto). Based on the landscape, I think Miyama is the smallest, but relatively speaking, the number of visitors are also minimal, although the road is not very smooth, but it is still closer to Kyoto, for many people, it is worth spending two hours to visit Miyama.