Shirakawa-go & Gokayama Area
Inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1995, the picturesque villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama sit in a remote area of Central Japan. Despite this, thanks of their listing they have achieved global fame and now attracts thousands of visitors each day. The listing actually covers three villages – Ogimachi, Suganuma and Ainokura – famous of their distinctive ‘gassho’-style thatched roofed farmhouse. Ogimachi is by far the largest of the three villages and therefore attracts the biggest crowds. While its popularity shouldn’t affect your experience there, if you want to avoid the masses head to the smaller villages of Suganuma and Ainokura.
A range of accommodation exists in and around the villages, including some converted farmhouses. Should you wish to stay in or nearby one of the villages, expect high prices and make sure to book well in advanced. Alternatively, look for accommodation in nearby Takayama – approximately 60-minutes by bus – or the larger cities of Toyama and Kanazawa – all of which have bus services running to and from the villages.