The Wada House, the largest gassho-styled house in Shirakawa-go (Photo: Bridget Ye)

Gassho-style Houses in Shirakawa-go

Experience Gifu Prefecture's UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bridget Ye   - 2 min read

Japan is known for its abundance of various ‘themed’ villages, such as the Zao Fox Village in Miyagi Prefecture, and Gifu Prefecture also boasts a unique village. Situated in the midst of mountainous terrain, Shirakawa-go is Gifu’s famous UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its traditional Gasshō-style houses built with steep and thatched roofs. These cultural symbols have withstood the tests of time and nature for over 200 years.

Shirakawa-go has numerous shrines, of which the Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine acts as the venue for the annual Doburoku Festival from October 14 to 15. During this festival, large amounts of sake is made for thousands of festival guests with locally produced rice to celebrate another year of good harvest. Sake is then enjoyed while appreciating dances, songs, and other forms of entertainment presented for the crowds.

Shirakawa-go is easily accessible from Takayama and Kanazawa via highway buses, and hosts a selection of restaurants and relaxing cafes. If you are around the Shirakawa-go area, make sure to stop by for a rewarding day trip experience.

Bridget Ye

Bridget Ye