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Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

Discover The Beautiful World Heritage Villages

Key features

  • World Heritage
  • Traditional Villages
  • Historic Buildings
  • Traditional Guesthouses
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Museums
  • Craft Stores
  • Natural Vistas
  • Stunning Photography
  • Outdoor Activities

Public Transport

Takayama Station<60 min by bus
Toyama Station60 min by bus
Kanazawa Station75-85 min by bus

Nearby Attractions

Takayama Old Town70 min drive
Kamikochi120 min drive
Matsumoto Castle150 min drive

Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

Discover The Beautiful World Heritage Villages

Key features

  • World Heritage
  • Traditional Villages
  • Historic Buildings
  • Traditional Guesthouses
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Museums
  • Craft Stores
  • Natural Vistas
  • Stunning Photography
  • Outdoor Activities
Located one hour from Takayama, Ogimachi is the largest of the three villages that make-up the World Heritage-listed 'Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama'. Referred to collectively as Shirakawa-go, the villages of Ogimachi, Suganuma and Ainokura are home to a distinct and beautiful style of thatch-roofed farmhouses. Called ‘gassho-zukuri’ in Japanese, the buildings take their name from the distinctive high-pitch of their roofs – reminiscent of hands held together in prayer or ‘gassho’. Many are over 250 years old and continue their use as residential homes, traditional workshops, museums, restaurants and cafes, and guesthouses.
Prior to the introduction of modern roads and snow-clearing machinery, heavy snowfall meant the villages were cut-off from the outside world each winter. In response, unique practices and building techniques developed over many generations, allowing the villages to be self-sufficient through those long, harsh months. Built to withstand heavy snowfall and provide indoor working space to cultivate silk, the design demonstrates ingenuity in adapting to the landscape and to this day, remains a remarkable example of the ability of humans to live in harmony with their environment.

Declared a World Heritage site in 1995, the Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama have achieved huge popularity in recent years. Most visitors head to largest village, Ogimachi. If you are looking for a quieter experience, consider heading to the smaller villages of Suganuma and Ainokura.

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  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
  • Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

Recommended Highlights from Snow Monkey Resorts

Discover Tradition & Beauty in Shirakawa-go

Discover Tradition & Beauty in Shirakawa-go

Awarded World Heritage status in 1995, the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are places of true importance.

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The Villages of Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

The Villages of Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

Most commonly referred to simply as ‘Shirakawa-go’, three separate villages are included under the World Heritage listing.

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Experience ‘Satoyama’: A Return to Tradition & Balance

Experience ‘Satoyama’: A Return to Tradition & Balance

Go back to tradition and find harmony in the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama.

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Visit Shirakawa-go: Book a Private Charter or Tour

Visit Shirakawa-go: Book a Private Charter or Tour

Let us transport you to the famous villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama and help you discover more.

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News / Info

How to Get to Shirakawa-go

How to Get to Shirakawa-go

The villages can be directly accessed using public transport from Takayama, Toyama and Kanazawa.

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From Shirakawa-go: Visit Takayama

From Shirakawa-go: Visit Takayama

Under an hour from Shirakawa-go, Takayama is blessed with one of Japan’s best-preserved old towns, great food, and famous festivals.

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From Shirakawa-go: Visit Kamikochi & Okuhida Onsen

From Shirakawa-go: Visit Kamikochi & Okuhida Onsen

Only 2 hours from Shirakawa-go via Takayama, one of Japan’s most stunning natural landscapes awaits to be discovered.

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Destinations & Attractions Nearby Shirakawa-go

Destinations & Attractions Nearby Shirakawa-go

Located under an hour from Takayama, take your time to explore the region starting with these 25 things to do.

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Nearby Recommendations

Takayama

Takayama

Explore the historic old town

Under an hour from Shirakawa-go, Takayama is the gateway to the World Heritage villages and home to one of Japan's best Edo Period old towns.

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Kamikochi

Kamikochi

Experience one of Japan's most remarkable natural landscapes

Considered the jewel of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, Kamikochi is easily accessible from Shirakawa-go.

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Mastumoto Castle

Mastumoto Castle

One of Japan's last remaining original castles

Matsumoto Castle is registered National Treasure and one of the region's most popular destinations.

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Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route

Known as the 'Roof of Japan', this is one of the country's most iconic landscapes

Open from mid-April to late-November, its most famous feature is the grand Snow Walls in spring and outstanding hiking in summer.

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The Nakasendo Trail

The Nakasendo Trail

Walk the historic road through the beautiful Kiso Valley

One of five major routes linking Kyoto to Tokyo in the Edo Period, the Nakasendo retains its historic character in its beautiful post towns.

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Hakuba

Hakuba

Nagano's most international ski resorts

Well-established as one of Japan's premier winter sports destination, Hakuba is emerging as a mecca for green season sports enthusiasts.

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Zenko-ji Temple

Zenko-ji Temple

The spiritual heart of Nagano

Established in 642, Zenko-ji is one of Japan's oldest and most important Buddhist temples and welcomes visitors of any faith or background.

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Togakushi

Togakushi

Home to some of Japan's most important Shinto shrines

Located in the forests just outside of Nagano City, Togakushi is a sacred landscape where tradition lives on.

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Amenities

Historic buildings
Restaurants
Cafes
Museums
Craft stores
Traditional guesthouses

Access

Public Transport

Takayama Station<60 min by bus
Toyama Station60 min by bus
Kanazawa Station75-85 min by bus

Nearby Attractions

Takayama Old Town70 min drive
Kamikochi120 min drive
Matsumoto Castle150 min drive