Shirakawa-Go, The Real Hinamizawa

Overlooking of Hinamizawa vs. Shirakawa-Go

A friend whom I converted to a Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni fan before shared to me Punynari’s blog where said blogger posted something about visiting a place in Japan called Shirakawa-Go: an ancient neighborhood claimed to be the model for the anime’s fictional rural town of Hinamizawa. And my, the resemblance of the photos vs. the ones in the show gave me goosebumps! And it just became one of my top to-visit places when I go to Japan. Click the link to his blog to read more about his trip there! Anyway, Here are the photos:

Hanging bridge over the river:

Unique houses of the town:

Rika and Satoko’s House:

Furude Shrine:

Furude Shrine close-up:

Punynari also mentioned that there was also Keiichi’s house, the bridge where Satoko made Keiichi fall, and the school house where Chie-sensei teaches. Damn, would I love to go there right now. I wonder if the locales know how famous their town is due to Higurashi? They probably do. On the other hand, I bet people who have watched the series would be cautious being in the real-life setting of a murder-filled show.

Also, the blogger was kind enough to show us how to go there:

1.) From either Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station: Follow signs to Shinkansen. Ask for Nozomi, Nagoya. Get reserved and a window seat if you can.

2.) From Nagoya Station: You want to get on the Hida Wide View train to Takayama. You’ll see some going to other places like Matsumoto. I bought a ticket from the machine there (even though it was for non-reserve local) and then hopped on a train to Takayama. The train attendant adjusted the price for me. Make sure you have lots of yen on you for this trip.

3.) From Takayama Station: There will be a bus station there and everything will be in English. Go to the bus station window and say Shirakawa-go. Wait by the sign for Shirakawa-go (in English) for your bus to arrive. It’s about an hour to Nagoya, another hour to Takayama, and yet another hour to Shirakawa-go. So about 3 hours travel time costing around 20,000 yen for one-way. It’s worth it to see this beautiful place at least once!

That said, would you know any other anime that has shocking resemblance to real-life locations? Share it in the comments section below!

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