Tag Archives: world heritage

Ainokura -The most remote gassho village-

Ainokura is the most remote gassho-zukuri village in Gokayama region, 45-minute car/bus ride from Ogimachi. Ainokura village is a 5 minute walk from this stop. All gassho-zukuri village offer a unique atmosphere; Ogimachi is big and lively with many shops and tourists, Suganuma sits peacefully by the river bank, Ainokura is up up on a hill often covered in mist. It has around 20 gassho-zukuri farmhouses. When I went for a walk at night, I only spot a couple of other tourists. In the morning, tourist buses start rolling in after 10am. I was like ‘What is this cute building?’ and it turned out to be a toilet haha. The… Read More

Irori (囲炉裏) - Japanese hearth constructed in the floor
Spending the Night at a Gassho-zukuri Farmhouse

The Gassho-zukuri farmhouses are so called because of the unique Japanese thatched-roof construction that looks like prayer-hands.There are many farmhouses you can choose from to stay. All of them have neither private toilet nor private bathroom and the stay includes a dinner and breakfast. When we arrived, the obaasan (grandmother) was preparing the fish for our dinner. Tea and Japanese sweets were promptly served for us to have a break by the irori. I love their dinner! I have never eaten any of the wild vegetables they served. The fish that was slowly grilled at the irori over hours tasted exceptionally fragrant. The koi (carp fish) sashimi was the only… Read More

One of the farmhouses inside the open-air museum
Gassho-zukuri Farmhouses at Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are two regions declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. They are famous for the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri refers to the steep thatched roofs that resemble two hands brought together in prayer. The largest and most visited village of them all is Ogimachi in Shirakawa-go. Ogimachi is also frequently referred as just Shirakawa-go. For Gokayama, the two nicest villages are Suganuma (9 gassho-zukuri farmhouses) located by the river bank and Ainokura (around 20 gassho-zukuri farmhouses) up a hill. The transportation to these villages are inconvenient but offers a more authentic feel compared to Ogimachi which is often cramped with visitors. Shiroyama Viewpoint boasts the… Read More