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Gassho zukuri houses, Shirakawago

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Visit Shirakawago, Japan

For most of their history, the Shirakawago Villages have lain hidden in the deep, snowbound valleys of the northern Alps, under the shadow of sacred Mt Hakusan. The region was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.

Shirakawago, Japan

For most of their history, the Shirakawago Villages have lain hidden in the deep, snowbound valleys of the northern Alps, under the shadow of sacred Mt Hakusan.

The traditional style of housing, the Gasshozukuri, designed with steep, thatched roofs to withstand the weight of snow, has survived in this area long after it has disappeared from other, more accessible, areas.

History

The region was opened up in the 1960’s when the river upstream from the villages was dammed, and the subsequent highway into the mountains constructed. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, and consequently the number of visitors, and gift shops, has increased dramatically. That said, the village is still a fascinating remnant of an older Japan, and well worth a day trip from Takayama.

For the more adventurous it is even possible to stay overnight in one of the traditional houses.

Bobby Heard
Speak to someone who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists at 1-855-834-8210

Speak to someone who's been there
Midarashi Dango

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists at 1-855-834-8210