Suganuma (), one of the main attractions of Gokayama, is made up of two areas, Suganuma Village and the Gokayama Gassho no Sato. Pleasant and easy to explore on foot, the two areas are connected to each other by a tunnel, which also connects to the parking lot on the hill overlooking the village via an elevator.

Suganuma Village and nine of its gassho-zukuri farmhouses, were designated a UNESCO world heritage site along with Ainokura and Ogimachi in 1995. A beautiful place to see gassho-zukuri farmhouses, the ones here have been well preserved and a few of them have become restaurants, minshuku, and museums showing the daily life and the washi paper and saltpeter industries that sustained the region.

On the other end of the tunnel, the Gokayama Gassho no Sato has a number of traditional farmhouses which have been relocated here in order to save them from destruction. However no one lives in them these days; they are instead used by school groups who can stay overnight in the houses and experience activities from traditional Gokayama life.

Saltpeter Museum

Hours: daily 9:00 to 16:30
Closed: December 29 to January 3
Admission: 300 yen (also includes Folk Museum)
Typical Visit Duration: 15 minutes
English: Minimal
Making saltpeter, an ingredient in gunpowder, was an important industry for the region during the Edo Period. This museum has exhibits on the procedures, tools and history of the industry in Gokayama.

Folk Museum

Hours: daily 9:00 to 16:00
Closed: December 29 to January 3
Admission: 300 yen (also includes Saltpeter Museum)
Typical Visit Duration: 15 minutes
English: None
This folk museum displays tools and household items used in daily life. Some of the exhibited items include tools used for farming, raising silkworms and making washi paper.

Gassho Cottages

This collection of relocated gassho-zukuri farmhouses is now a place where school groups can stay overnight and participate in activities based on Gokayama traditional life. Although not aimed at the individual traveler, the area is open to everyone, and you are free to see the houses from the outside.

Attractions around Suganuma

Iwase-ke House

Hours: daily 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 300 yen
This well preserved gassho-zukuri farmhouse is the largest one of its kind in the region. The first floor has rooms which were designed to entertain visiting lords, while the spacious upper floors display tools and household items used for farming and raising silkworms.

Getting there and around

By bus

Suganuma is a stop along the bus route between Shirakawago and Shin-Takaoka Station on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (see timetable). The one way ride from Shirakawago to Suganuma takes 30 minutes and costs 880 yen. From Shin-Takaoka Station, it takes about 80 minutes and costs 1220 yen.

Alternatively, some buses along the bus route between Kanazawa and Shirakawago stop at the "Gokayama Suganuma" bus stop along the way (see timetable and fare details); however, it is only possible to board buses in direction of Kanazawa and get off buses in direction of Ogimachi, but not vice versa. Also, these buses do not serve Suganuma, at all, from December through March.

By car

From Ogimachi, Suganuma can be reached in about 30 minutes along National Route 156. You can cut travel time by a few minutes by taking the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway between Shirakawago and Gokayama IC (580 yen regular expressway tolls). From Gokayama IC, Suganuma is reached in about two minutes.

How to get to and around Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Hotels around Shirakawago & Gokayama

Recommended Hotels
Atmospheric gassho-zukuri houses to stay overnight.
Japanese Guest Houses
One of the largest and most beautiful gassho-zukuri houses to stay overnight.
Japanese Guest Houses