World Heritage Site, Historic Village of Gokayama

Page Number T4000088  Updated on  April 4, 2018  Print

World Heritage Site, Historic Village of Gokayama (photo)

Gokayama (Five Mountains) Village is named after the precinct’s five valleys: the Akaodani, Kami-nashidani, Shimo-nashidani, Otan, and Togadani Valleys.

In December 1995, Gokayama and nearby Shirakawa-go Villages were registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the “Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama.” In 2009, the villages were awarded three stars by France’s Michelin Travel Guide.

Nowhere else in Japan will you find the unique gassho-zukuri style of farmhouses. Their steep, thatched roofs are reminiscent of hands folded in prayer—gassho in Japanese. Each of the surviving homes is a priceless cultural asset, thought by many to represent the pinnacle of Japanese wooden building techniques.

The Ainokura settlement preserves twenty gassho-style homes, as well as temples, shrines, an irrigation system and rustic old paths. Visitors get a sense of stepping back in time two or more centuries, to the rural Japan of the Edo Period. From Takayama City, the trip by bus takes about an hour and a half, with a transfer in Shirakawa-go. Gokayama is smaller, but has the advantages of fewer tourists and a more traditional atmosphere.

Countryside scenery of Gokayama (photo)

Light up of Gokayama (photo)

Facility info.

Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture
+81-763-66-2468 (Gokayama Sightseeing Association)
[Sightseeing Bus Plan]
Adult: 6,500 yen (including Japanese-language guide and meal. Reservation required.)
Takayama Nouhi Bus Center (Departure at 8:30 a.m.) / Gokayama / Ainokura Gassho-Style Village / Shirakawa-go Village (Lunch) / Takayama Nouhi Bus Center (Arrival at 3:10 p.m.)

[World Heritage Sites Shirakawa-go / Gokayama Transfer Ticket]
Adult: 3,600 yen (Please check the timetable)
Takayama Nouhi Bus Center / 50 min. / Shirakawa-go Ogi-machi / 50 min. / Ainokura

*Fees shown here are just for reference. For details, please check the relevant website.