A friend whom I just recently converted to a Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (When They Cry) fan shared me Punynari’s blog. He posted something about visiting a place in Japan called Shirakawa-Go, an ancient city claimed to be the model for the anime’s fictional rural town of Hinamizawa. And oh my, the photos he took are shockingly identical to those in Higurashi! His post just made this place one of my top to-visit places when I finally go to Japan.
Here are the photos! Credits go to Punynari :)
Overlooking shot of Hinamizawa
Rika and Satoko’s House
Furude Shrine Close-Up (Where Rika was murdered)
If you check out his blog, he also mentioned that there was also Keiichi’s house, the bridge where Satoko made Keiichi fall, and the school house where Chie-sensei teaches. God, would I love to go there right now. I wonder if the locales know how famous their town is due to Higurashi. On the other hand, people who have watched the series could be too scared to go there as the story of the anime isn’t really sugar and rainbows and all LOL.
Also, he was kind enough to show us how to go there (from Punynari):
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. I was confused for an hour on this one. 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 (obvious) 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. Its about an hour to Nagoya, another hour to Takayama, and 50 min to Shirakawa-go. So about 3 hours give or take (one way) and just shy of 20,000 yen one way. It’s worth it to see this beautiful place at least once.