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Stay with Us and Visit “Gokayama, A World Heritage Site” !

Hello everyone! How are you doing?

This time, we pick up Gokayama as an article, the place which is also famous for Gassho-zukuri style houses as Shirakawago, located in Toyama prefecture.
We are going to talk about 2 points:Comparison between Gokayama & Shirakawago and Access from Kanazawa✨
(If you want to learn about Shirakawago first, please check our most recent blog on April 21st.)

Then, Let’s get started🎶

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―Comparison between Gokayama & Shirakawago―

Both places have been registerd as UNESCO World Heritage Site🌲 in 1995, however, there are differences at some points.
Now we are going to explain about in order following ①Location and Features ②Scale .


①Location and Features


Gokayama is in Toyama prefecture(Nanto City at the southwestern tip and Shirakawago is in Gifu prefecture(Ogi-machi, Shirakawa-mura, Ono-gun).
Each of 2 villages belongs to different prefecture but it is just about 20 km far away from each other. So it is accessible about 40~45 min by bus.(Depends on traffic conditions)
Both regions are comfirmed as one of the world’s heaviest snowfall areas thus, Gassho-zukuri style house which has very steep roof (45°~60°) were born.
The sloop of the roof makes snow fall off easily. The material of the roof is Kayabuki (Thatch) which has moisturizing and thermal insulation.
Thanks to this kind of structure, it seems that it was possible to spend “cool in summer and warm in winter”.

By the way, there is also a difference in the entrance of the Gassho-style houses in the two villages🤔
Gassho-style houses in Gokayama have an entrance on the front of the gassho-style roof, whereas Shirakawago has an entrance on the slope side of the roof.
This difference seems to have a lot to do with wind direction and sunshine hours in the mountainous regions. Our ancestors used try and error to find ways to coexist with nature.
In spring and summer, you can enjoy an original landscape of Japan in idyllic countryside. In autumn, autumn leaves in the forests and mountains around the village reach their peak.
That is why you can see different expressions depends on the seasons.

The reasons why the villages were registerd as UNESCO World Heritage Site, It goes without saying that gassho-zukuri style houses are excellent structures, but also, it is related to our ancestors effort of adopting to the mountainous climate and the fact that current residents preserve the history and traditions.
These are very convincing reasons why Gokayama and Shirakawago were registerd as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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②Scale


Gokayama is much smaller compared to Shirakawago.
The number of Gassho-zukuri style houses of each villages is over 100 large and small in Shirakawago, and 29 in Gokayama (the combined number of Ainokura Gassho-zukuri Village and Suganuma Gassho-zukuri Village).
Shirakawago, which has been widely broadcasted by the media and has become a famous tourist destination, is crowded with tourists all year round.
Therefore, Gokayama is recommended for those who want to enjoy the atmosphere and scenery of a slow-paced farming village.
Of course, as I mentioned in ①, Gokayama and Shirakawago belong to different prefectures, but they are close to each other, so it might be interesting to see both and compare them.

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―Access from Kanazawa―

It is about 57 km from Kanazawa, and it takes just over an hour. You can take a bus at Kanazawa Station.

五箇山時刻表 EN

【🚌】Hokutetsu Bus or Nohi Bus at Kanazawa Station (East Gate, Terminal #2 )
   → Gokayamasuganuma (1hour) 
【🏨】Kanazawa Station(Right Loop Bus)→Yuimaru EAST (7 min)
【🎫】Fare (one way trip) Adult ¥2,000 Child ¥1,000
【Hokutetsu Bus HP📝】http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/en/en_highway-takayama
Reservation in advance is higly recommended.


It is just 7 min to our hotel from Kanazawa Station so you will be definitely relaxed after your trip from Gokayama✨
We woulk like to support you about buying tickets if you need any help.
Feel free to ask us about anything you want to ask 🙌😊

日本語