Shirakawa-go - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist


Old Japan comes alive.

About Shirakawa-go
Shirakawa-go is set among remote mountains in a scenic valley on the Shogawa River. The area is UNESCO-protected and is located in the sparsely populated northern centre of Honshu main island. The old farmhouses, scattered in the valley, have a unique structure and are still actively used.

Unique architecture, traditional craftsmanship and warm hospitality
Shirakawa-go is famous for its special 'gassho-zukuri' farmhouses that are UNESCO-protected as an important part of the world's cultural heritage. The houses are put together completely without the use of nails according to ancient craftsmanship, and they are built to be cool in summer and warm in winter. The distinctive pointed thatch roof has been developed to withstand the heavy snow in the region, and the houses have four floors - the upper one was used to cultivate silkworms in older times. The houses are up to 250 years old and there is a total of about 150 in the valley. Many of the houses are still actively used, but some are protected and open to the public. If you want to see the whole village from above, the best observation point is Ogimachi Castle ruins. If you spend the night in the area, you can look forward to a special experience - the family-run guest houses give you a feel of having stepped far back in time. Night at the open-air museum, as it were.

Other landmarks in Shirakawa-go
In the Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum, you can visit 25 gassho-zukuri houses that were relocated from the Kazura district in 1972. In some of the houses, you can experience traditional crafts such as fabric dyeing and weaving. It is also possible to try making handicrafts yourself if you reserve a time in advance.

Visit this destination as part of your tailor-made trip

We believe that every trip to Japan should be unique and full of memories that last a lifetime. Our experts will help combine your favourite destinations into a single itinerary, making sure you don’t miss any of your personal highlights during your visit.

The price of this service starts at EUR 50,- and is fully reimbursable if you book your tour with us.

What is covered during the consultation?

Trip budget
Travel dates
Your questions
Final bookings

Experience Japan your way with our experts

We are part of JTB, the largest travel company in Japan and one of the biggest in the world, with over 100 years of experience. We are passionate about this wonderful country, having spent decades designing adventurous itineraries for our clients.

Your tailor-made holiday in four simple steps

Schedule an online call or fill out an enquiry form
Finalise your requirements and preferences
Receive your custom itinerary and quote
Complete your booking and enjoy your trip

The price of this service starts at EUR 50,- and is fully reimbursable if you book your tour with us.