Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama

Chua Liwen

Sep 24, 2017


The Gassho-style houses found in the Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are rare examples of their kind in Japan. Located in a river valley surrounded by the rugged high-mountain Chubu region of central Japan, these three villages were remote and isolated, and access to the area was difficult for a long period of time. The inscribed property comprises the villages of “Ogimachi” in the Shirakawa-go region, and “Ainokura” and “Suganuma” in the Gokayama region, all situated along the Sho River in Gifu and Toyama Prefectures.

In response to the geographical and social background, a specific housing type evolved: rare examples of Gassho-style houses, a unique farmhouse style that makes use of highly rational structural systems evolved to adapt to the natural environment and site-specific social and economic circumstances in particular the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms.

The large houses have steeply-pitched thatched roofs and have been preserved in groups, many with their original outbuildings which permit the associated landscapes to remain intact.

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Shirakawa-go

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Historic Villages of Shirakawa...

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Gifu Prefecture

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