Villages of Shirakawa-gō
Villages of Shirakawa-gō is one of Japan's UNESCO World
Heritage Sites. The site is located in the Shogawa river valley stretching
across the border of Gifu and Toyama Prefectures in central Japan. Shirakawa-gō
("White River Old-District") is located in the village of Shirakawa
in Gifu Prefecture. The Gokayama ("Five Mountains") area is
divided between the former villages of Kamitaira and Taira in Nanto, Toyama
These villages are well known for their houses constructed in the architectural
style known as gasshō-zukuri. The Gasshō-zukuri, "prayer-hands construction"
style is characterized by a thatched and steeply slanting roof resembling
two hands joined in prayer. The design is exceptionally strong and, in
combination with the unique properties of the thatching, allow the houses
to withstand and shed the weight of the region's heavy snowfalls in winter.
Access: Super express train from Tokyo to Gifu, then to Takayama by train.
Between Takayama and Shirakawa-go Nohi Bus operates hourly buses.