|Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
|2495-3, Ogimachi, Shirakawamura, Onogun, Gifu Prefecture
These villages are situated along the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains that cover an area from Gifu to Toyama Prefectures. They are famous for the gassho-zukuri farmhouses which are up to 250 years old.
The region was isolated from the rest of the world for a long time. The Villages managed to survive on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the farming of silkworms which eat the mulberry leaves. The villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura and Suganuma are outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and the economic realities of the community. They were declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Gassho-zukuri means “prayer hands construction”. The farmhouses are built with steep thatched roofs that look like the hands of monks pressed together in prayer. The construction serves two purposes, the first to prevent the build up of snow which falls heavily in the area and secondly to provide a large space in the upper storey to give room for the cultivation of silkworms.
Visitors to the villages can obtain best value from the experience by staying overnight at one of many farmhouses which have been converted into a minshuku or kind of bed and breakfast place in Ogimachi. Gokayama’s villages are harder to get to and smaller and with less modern influence but more intimate.
We can provide professional interpreters who have a guide-interpreter license at your request.
The tour guide interpreters have accurate knoeledge about Japanese culture, tradition and other points of interest.