Shirakawa-go (Historic Village)

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Written by Editorial department

Shirakawa-go, a beautiful area where traditional Japanese scenery still exists, is home to the largest number of still-standing traditional “gassho-zukuri” Japanese homes. As of 2016, there are around 100 buildings still standing, both large and small. It is the largest remaining historic settlement in Japan, and it is preserved as a Group of Traditional Buildings in the register of Cultural Properties of Japan.
In 1995, Shirakawa-go was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site, under the classification of “outstanding examples of traditional human settlements that are perfectly adapted to their environment and their social and economic raison d’être,” that “…preserves both the spiritual and the material evidence of [its] long history.”

Shirakawa-go (Historic Village), World Cultural Heritage, Group of Traditional Buildings, Winter, Illumination
[Shirakawa-go (Historic Village), Winter]

The heart of Shirakawa-go is Ogimachi, located to the north of the village. There visitors can experience “gassho-zukuri folk living” and feel what it was like to live in tandem with nature, through hands-on activities like dyeing cloth with plant dyes, making straw zori (Japanese sandals), making soba noodles, and visiting historical museums.

Shirakawa-go also has many attractions that make use of its place in nature, such as hot springs, camping sites, ski resorts, and lodging facilities.
People still inhabit and they make their lives in Shirakawa-go, unlike other similar historic settlements.
Visitors can take in a lovely panoramic view of Ogimachi from the restaurant Shiroyama Tenshukaku’s “Tenshukaku Observatory Deck.”
※Private gassho-zukuri folk living experiences available from mid-April through October. Advance reservation required.

Basic information on Shirakawa-go (Historic Village)

Ogimachi, Shirakawa Village, Ono District, Gifu Prefecture
About 50 minutes by the Nohi Bus’s Shirakawa/Kanazawa Line from JR Takayama Line’s Takayama Station (get off at Shirakawa-go bus stop)
05769-6-1311 (Shirakawa Village Office)