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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Chubu
Shirakawa-go and Gokayama 
# 43   of 179 destinations
in our travel guide

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

The Shirakawa-go and neighboring Gokayama regions line the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains that span from Gifu to Toyama Prefectures. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, they are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer", as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.

Ogimachi, Shirakawa-go's largest village and main attraction, makes a good day trip from Takayama, or a stop on the bus journey between Takayama and Kanazawa. The best way to experience the town, however, is to stay overnight at one of the farmhouses, many of which now serve as minshuku.

Gokayama is a little more difficult to access and requires a change of buses in Ogimachi. Less developed and less crowded than Shirakawa-go, its villages are smaller, more intimate and with less intrusion from modern buildings. Gokayama's nicest villages are Suganuma and Ainokura.

Attractions
 1  Farmhouse Stay
A highly recommended experience.
User rating: 98/100 (71 votes)
Visited by: 128 users
 2  Ogimachi Village
Largest village in Shirakawa-go.
User rating: 94/100 (166 votes)
Visited by: 290 users
 3  Winter Light-up
Illumination on selected weekends in winter.
User rating: insufficient data
Visited by: 12 users
 4  Ainokura Village
The largest farmhouse village in Gokayama.
User rating: 89/100 (69 votes)
Visited by: 141 users
 5  Suganuma Village
Small village with farmhouses in Gokayama.
User rating: 87/100 (41 votes)
Visited by: 91 users
 

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Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Shirakawa-go and Gokayama.

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Hotels and Ryokan
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Recommended Hotels around shirakawa
Koemon
Atmospheric gassho-zukuri houses to stay overnight.
Reserve through
Japanese Guest Houses
Magoemon
One of the largest and most beautiful gassho-zukuri houses to stay overnight.
Reserve through
Japanese Guest Houses
Shirakawago no yu
Not located in a gassho-zukuri house, this accommodation offers onsen baths.
Reserve through
Japanese Guest Houses

Tours and Packages
Takayama and Shirakawa-go Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Takayama and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Shirakawa-go:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 301 users):
93/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 166):
6.  Ogasawara Islands   95/100
7.  Mount Fuji   94/100
8.  Mount Koya   93/100
9.  Okinawa Island   93/100
10.  Alpine Route   93/100
11.  Shirakawa-go   93/100
12.  Kamikochi   91/100
13.  Nikko   91/100
14.  Yamadera   91/100
15.  Kamakura   91/100
Most visited destinations (out of 179):
38.  Dazaifu   696
39.  Mount Koya   691
40.  Karuizawa   686
41.  Matsushima   658
42.  Furano   656
43.  Shirakawa-go   615
44.  Takamatsu   599
45.  Matsuyama   579
46.  Aomori   552
47.  Hikone   533

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English Links
Shirakawa Village
Official English website of the municipality where Shirakawa-go is located in.

Japanese Links
Shirakawa Village
Official website of the municipality where Shirakawa-go is located in.
Nanto City
Official website of the municipality where Gokayama is located in.

Online Reservations
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News and Reports
January 27, 2013
Winter Visit to Shirakawago
by schauwecker
January 1, 2013
shirakawago at winter
by suncraft

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