If you want to go to a beautiful traditional village in a heavy snowfall area in Japan, add Shirakawago (Gifu Prefecture) to your itinerary. Shirakawa-go is a village registered as a World Heritage Site along with Gokayama (Toyama Prefecture) in the same area. In Shirakawa-go, you can experience how the residents have worked together and survived in a harsh natural environment. In winter you can experience the world of heavy snowfall. This village is very popular, so it is advisable to book your accommodation in the village early.

Outline of Shirakawago

Shirakawago is the name of the area around the Shogawa River in Gifu Prefecture. However, recently, it often refers only to Shirakawa village, where many traditional Japanese houses are preserved. On this page, I would like to introduce you to the Ogino area, which has many traditional houses in Shirakawa Village.

Shirakawago is located in the mountainous area of northern Gifu Prefecture in central Honshu (Chubu). In this region, there is a great deal of snow in the winter. Villagers have been devising various ideas for a long time so that they can live in such heavy snowfall areas. The most characteristic feature is the Gassho-zukuri roof.

Gassho-zukuri is a house made of wooden beams combined with a steep thatched roof. This area is one of the most heavy snowfall areas in Japan, but because of the sharp roof, snow slides off the roof. It was designed to prevent the house from collapsing no matter how much snow it accumulates.


Autumn in Shirakawago


Winter in Shirakawago


Shogawa River


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