Autumn 2022 Japan Views: Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

The Shirakawa-go (白川郷, Shirakawagō) and neighboring Gokayama (五箇山) regions line the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains that span from Gifu to Toyama Prefectures. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, they are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

Video timeline: Shirakawa-go 白川郷 0:00 Opening 1:05 Gassho-zukuri Minkaen 白川郷合掌造り民家園 8:17 庄川 Sho River 9:18 であい橋 Deai-Bashi bridge 11:01 Around Koemon 民宿幸エ門周辺 11;58 Shirakawago Three Houses 三小屋(三連合掌) 14:59 Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine 白川八幡神社 15:17 Around Myozenji 明善寺周辺 19:43 Around Kanda House 神田家周辺 20:18 Around Wada House 和田家住宅周辺 23:25 Tenshukaku Observatory 城山天守閣 展望台 —————- 24:35 Around Ainokuraguchi Bus Stop 相倉口周辺 25:26 Ainokura Gassho-zukuri Village 相倉合掌造り集落 Honor system farm stands  29:05 HitokuiTani valley 人喰谷 —————– 30:01 Suganuma Gassho-zukuri Village 菅沼合掌造り集落 34:31 Gokayama Gassho no Sato 五箇山合掌の里

Gassho-zukuri means “constructed like hands in prayer”, as the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.


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