U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty officially visited Shirakawa Village on Feb.10 and toured UNESCO World Heritage site Shirakawago, a village of Gassho-zukuri style farmhouses.
Hagerty visited Shirakawa Village with his wife and two daughters to experience the village’s traditional culture. They strolled through Shirakawago and went inside the Wada House, which has been designated an important cultural property of Japan. They also went to Ogimachi Castle Observatory Deck, which offers a bird’s-eye view of Shirakawago, and enjoyed the scenery of the ancient village covered with snow.
Hagerty admired the view from the observatory deck and said in Japanese, “Subarashii desu. Yuki wa sugoi desu [It’s beautiful. The snow is amazing.]” Shirakawa Village Mayor Shigeru Narihara, who guided the ambassador and his family through Shirakawago, said, “The ambassador was very interested in removal of snow from roofs. He was also concerned about the fact that not so many American tourists visit Shirakawago despite a rise in the number of inbound tourists to Japan and suggested that we sign a sister city agreement with a U.S. city.”
Hagerty is scheduled to dine with Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta on Feb. 11.