Historic Village of Shirakawa-go – One of UNESCO World Heritage Sites | Japan Guide


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Shirakawa-go is a quiet mountain village located in northwestern Gifu and is very famous for its Gassho-style houses. Gassho means to join one’s hands in prayer in Japanese. The steep thatched roofs shape resembles two hands together and this is the origin of the name of the architectural style Gassho.

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Shirakawago has a picturesque landscape and was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The different point from other area’s villages with Gassho-style houses is that the residents in Shirakawa-go still live in the houses and have actual lives. Now Shirakawa-go is very popular sightseeing spot among not only Japanese but also foreign tourists.



Every season has a beautiful view of scenery. In spring snow starts to melt and the view looks nice at flowers.


Summer is the season of fresh green in such a beautiful nature.

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In autumn a variety of plants change its colors and winter is a fairy-tale-like world. Just being there, you would feel as if your soul was being washed purified.

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For a few weeks in January and February, you can see beautiful illumination of the Gassho style houses covered with snow. Furthermore there is a Observatory deck where you can enjoy marvelous panoramic view. It is just a short walk from the village or you can take a shuttle bus.

Name: Shirakawa-go Shiroyama Observatory Deck

Shuttle bus stand: south side of the Japanese restaurant Hakusuien

Hakusuien address: 354 Ogimachi, Shirakawa-village, Oono-gun Gifu 501-5627

Time table: every 20 minutes from 9:00am to 4:00pm

Fee: 200yen in one way

Website:shirakawa village office



In Shirakawa-go you can stay in the Gassho-style houses. The accommodations fee is reasonable, about 8,000yen. It is highly recommended that you have an experience to stay at World Heritage. It will be an unforgettable memory.



At a guest house, dinner is gorgeous. You can enjoy a Japanese traditional dinner with a variety of items such as edible wild plants and freshwater fish cuisine.


Especially Hida beef is well known as a high quality beef with a beautiful marbled pattern and is worth trying.

Name: Minshuku Jyuemon

Address: 2653 Ogimachi, Shirakawa-village, Oono-gun Gifu 501-5627

Fee:8,700yen, +400yen in winter season for heating

Phone: +81-(0)5769-6-1053

Website: Jyuemon(Japanese)
Name: Rihei

Address: 103 Ogimachi, Shirakawa-village, Oono-gun Gifu 501-5627

Fee: From 8,640yen, +400yen in winter season for heating

Phone: +81-(0)5769-6-1552



Reference:shirakawa village office

This is the Japanese style harvest festival to pray to the mountain god for safety, peace, and a good harvest by singing and lion dancing and son. The festival is held from late September to October every year.

Reference:shirakawa village office

Doburoku is a milky white unrefined sake. It is thick and slightly sweet. Doburoku is served to visitors during the festival period for free. When you visit Shirakawa-go in autumn, it is highly recommended to join and have a experience of a Japanese festival and sake.

Website:Doburoku Festival