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Ogimachi () is the largest village and main attraction of Shirakawa-go. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, the village is home to several dozen well preserved gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

The farmhouses are quite amazing structures, designed to withstand the harsh winters while providing a place to work and live, and are best seen either covered in snow or surrounded by green fields. Many of the farmhouses are now restaurants, museums or minshuku, where you can stay overnight.

A number of farmhouses from the surrounding villages have been relocated to an open air museum across the river from the town center in an effort to save them from destruction. This museum along with the large concentration of farmhouses and attractions in town and the area's accessibility make Ogimachi the best place in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama to see gassho-zukuri farmhouses.

Gassho-zukuri Minkaen

Hours: 8:40 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:00 December to February)
Admission ends 20 minutes before closing
Closed: Thursdays from Dec to Mar (or Wed if Thu is a holiday)
Admission: 600 yen
This open air museum lies across the river from the village center. It exhibits farmhouses and other structures relocated to Ogimachi in order to save them from destruction.

Shiroyama Viewpoint

The Shiroyama Viewpoint is north of the village center and offers nice views of Ogimachi and its farmhouses. The viewpoint can be accessed via a walking trail (closed during/after heavy snow) in about 15 to 20 minutes from the village center or by a shuttle bus, which stops near the Wada-ke House.

Wada-ke House

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: Irregular closing days
Admission: 300 yen
The Wada family was one of the wealthiest families and village leaders of Ogimachi. Their former home is the largest gassho-zukuri farmhouse in the town, and is now open to the public as a museum.

Kanda-ke House

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: Wednesdays (or following day if Wednesday is a national holiday)
Admission: 400 yen
This picturesque house is one of the best preserved farmhouse turned museums in Ogimachi. Located in the center of town, you can get good views of the surrounding houses from the windows on its upper floors.

Nagase-ke House

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: Irregular closing days
Admission: 300 yen
The Nagase family were doctors for the Maeda lords in Ishikawa Prefecture before relocating to Ogimachi. Their farmhouse turned museum exhibits some medical tools and gifts from the Maeda family. The upper floors display many tools for farming and raising silkworms.

Myozenji Temple and House

Hours: 8:30 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:00 December to March)
Closed: Irregular closing days
Admission: 300 yen (includes entry to both temple and house)
Myozenji Temple, which is unique for its thatched roof rather than the typical tiled roof seen on most temples, is connected to the Myozenji-ke farmhouse next door where the priest of the temple lives. The proprietor speaks English and is happy to introduce the buildings to visitors. Admission to the house includes admission to the temple hall.

Shirakawa-go no Yu

Hours: 7:00 to 21:30 (entry until 21:00)
Closing: No closing days
Admission: 700 yen
The Shirakawa-go no yu is a combined minshuku and bath house that offers hot spring bathing to the visitors of Ogimachi. A small discount is offered to guests staying overnight at one of the traditional farmhouses in the area.

Attractions outside Ogimachi

Toyama-ke House

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Closed: Wednesdays (or Tuesday if Wednesday is a holiday)
Admission: 300 yen
Located about 15 minutes by car outside of Ogimachi, this old farmhouse now stands as a museum displaying typical period life. The farmland around the house continues to be worked by local farmers.

Getting there and around

Ogimachi is the transport hub of the Shirakawa-go region, where the bus lines from Takayama, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Toyama and Takaoka meet. As of October 2016, all buses use the new Shirakawago Bus Terminal at the entrance to the village. Ogimachi is small and can be easily explored on foot.

How to get to and around Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Hotels around Shirakawago & Gokayama

Top rated in Shirakawago & Gokayama
Budget:
    • Shiroyamakan
      Luxury
      Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Shiroyamakan offers accommodation in Shirakawa, 1.4 km from Shirakawago. Free private parking is available on site. The entire property is non-smoking. Free use of bicycles is available at this ryokan and the area is popular for cycling. The nearest airport is Komatsu Airport, 47 km from the property.
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    • Shirakawago Terrace
      Budget-friendly
      Renovated in August 2017, Shirakawago Terrace, a century-old traditional Japanese wooden house, is located in Shirakawago, just a 10-minute walk away from the famous Shirakawago Ogimachi World Heritage site. Free WiFi is available throughout the entire property. The Shirakawago Ogimachi Bus Stop is a 10-minute walk from the property. The hostel is also conveniently located a 5-minute drive from the Shirakawago IC and a convenience store is located a 2-minute walk away. Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 3-hour drive from the accommodation. Featuring heating, each room at the hostel includes a private bathroom. Guests sleep in Japanese-style futon bedding on tatami (woven-straw) floors. A shared kitchen provides a place where guests of the hostel can prepare meals. An electric kettle, microwave and fridge are included. A shared lounge is also available. Parking is provided free of charge on site. Some lights are powered by on-site photovoltaic system.
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    • Onyado Yuinosho
      Luxury
      Located in Shirakawa, 200 metres from Shirakawago, Onyado Yuinosho provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. Guests at the 4-star property can enjoy mountain views in the rooms and access to a sauna. The ryokan features a hot spring bath and a 24-hour front desk. At the ryokan, each room is fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Guest rooms at Onyado Yuinosho include air conditioning and a wardrobe. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a ? la carte or an Asian breakfast. The nearest airport is Toyama Airport, 49 km from Onyado Yuinosho.
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    • Guesthouse AntHut
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House Ant Hut is located in Shirakawa-go village, a 20-minute walk from the bus terminal Ogimachi at Shirakawa-go World Heritage Village. Free private parking is available on site. Guests can make use of the free shuttle service offered by the property or take a local bus to access the guest house. The Ant Hut has a shared kitchen furnished with essential cooking appliances. The lounge is fitted with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. The guest house features a bathroom, 2 toilets and a hairdryer. Each bed has a private luggage shelf, power outlet, reading light and a fan. Free WiFi access is available throughout the entire property. The property is situated in a quiet location within walking distance to a convenience store and 2 popular local restaurants. Guests can engage in various activities around the region such as skiing and hiking. Property staff are able to recommend things to do around the village. Complimentary seasonal drinks are offered to guests upon arrival and coffee is provided in the mornings.
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    • Shirakawago Guest House Kei
      Budget-friendly
      600 metres from Shirakawago, Shirakawago Guest House Kei is set in Shirakawa and offers rooms with free WiFi. All rooms feature a kitchen and a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen and luggage storage space for guests. All guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a coffee machine. The units will provide guests with a microwave. The nearest airport is Komatsu Airport, 46 km from the property.
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      8.6Booking.com