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Gokayama historic village

Gokayama historic villageMap of Gokayama and Shirakawa-goGokayama is a mountain area at the southwest part of Toyama Prefecture, and is located about 40 km south-southwest of Takaoka city.
In this area, Suganuma and Ainokura districts have some traditional houses with a steep rafter roof, so they has been registered as a World Heritage Site in 1995 with Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture.
(Shirakawa-go is located about 15 km south of Suganuma district.)

The house of this type has been built around this area since the 17th century. In Japanese, it is called "gasshou-zukuri".
This area have heavy snowfall in winter, so a steep thatched roof has been set up on the house to remove snow easily.
And the form of the roof makes a wide attic under it, then they had used the space as a silkworm nursery since the 19th century.

The frame of gasshou-zukuri house is built with logs and ropes without nails. This method is important for holding up heavy roof with much snow in winter.
The house with thatched roof is unexpectedly warm in winter and cool in summer.
There is a fireplece ("irori" in Japanese) at the center of the living room, and a fire is lit in there in winter.
Of course, it warms the room. And the smokes rise up, then they fume the ceiling and the roof. It makes the house stronger.

In most houses in Gokayama area, village people live. So you must not enter the house without their permission.

Suganuma district near Gokayama exit on Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway has 9 houses of gassho-zukuri.
Iwase House located about 3 km south-southwest of Suganuma district is the largest house in Gokayama, and was built in the early 18th century. We can tour the inside of the house.

Ainokura district is located about 6 km notheast of Suganuma, and has 20 houses.
Some of them live as minshukus (inns). And two houses are opened as the museums.

The Historic Village of Gokayama : The website introducing Suganuma district

How to get to here

By route bus

By route bus to Ogimachi-jinja-mae, from Takaoka station, about 1 hour and 46 minutes to Ainokura-guchi, about 2 hours to Suganuma.

By car

Run on Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway, and exit at Gokayama exit. Then about 1.5 km to Suganuma, about 12 km to Ainokura from there.

In Suganuma district in Gokayama
Photo by Donto-koi neko-bike
A house in Suganuma district
Photo by Donto-koi neko-bike
Suganuma district
Illuminated Iwase House in winter
In Ainokura district in Gokayama
Photo by Donto-koi neko-bike
Houses in Ainokura
Photo by Donto-koi neko-bike
Ainokura distroct Ainokura in winter

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