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Rustic and Remote

The historic village of Gokayama is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its unique rural architecture.

Discover Gokayama

In Gokayama, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, traditional gassho-zukuri houses transport visitors back in time. These historic houses have been around in Gokayama for centuries, and their name roughly means ‘hands in prayer’ due to their steep thatched roofs. They are made with local wood from the cedar trees which populate the area. These unique architectural wonders blend seamlessly with the surrounding natural beauty, creating a tranquil atmosphere.

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Gokayama as you wander through the idyllic villages, such as Ainokura and Suganuma. These timeless settlements offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life, where local customs and traditions have been carefully preserved. Discover the art of papermaking at the Wada Washi Village, where skilled artisans create exquisite washi paper using traditional techniques passed down through generations.

Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the stunning landscapes that surround Gokayama. Towering mountains, lush forests, and crystal-clear rivers provide a backdrop for outdoor activities and scenic hikes. Take a leisurely stroll along the Sho River, allowing the soothing sound of flowing water to calm your senses. In the winter months, Gokayama transforms into a winter wonderland, blanketed in thick snow, offering opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, and even snowball fights.

Indulge in the regional culinary delights of Gokayama, which harmonize with the local environment. Sample the robust flavors of Hida beef, a renowned local delicacy known for its marbling and tenderness. Savor the earthy aroma of locally sourced mushrooms, such as matsutake and shimeji, which add depth to traditional dishes. Complete your gastronomic journey with a taste of the region’s sake, brewed with pristine water from the surrounding mountains.

Gokayama’s charm extends beyond its landscapes and cuisine. Engage in hands-on experiences, such as traditional craft workshops, where you can try your hand at creating intricate woodwork or weaving textiles. Delve into the spiritual side of Gokayama with visits to ancient shrines and temples, where a sense of tranquility and reverence permeates the air.

Whether you seek a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature, a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage, or a journey back in time to a simpler era, Gokayama offers a truly immersive and unforgettable experience. Let this hidden gem of Japan captivate your senses and leave you with cherished memories of a place where tradition and natural beauty converge.

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