Shirakawa-go, the Historic Village in Japan


Situated in the north-west of Gifu and besieged by mountains, Shirakawa-go is a typical mountain village. Its name comes from the traditional Japanese name for the region used in ancient times. The village consists of Hakusan National Park and Amo Prefectural Nature Park. It is known that Shirakawa-go is one of Japan areas having the heaviest snowfall. Sometimes the village is called an isolated island as the roads reaching to surrounding areas are blocked by heavy snowfall.

Nestled at the foot of the sacred Mt. Hakusan, Shirakawa-go offers the speechless scenery of the mountains and lush beech forests. The sightseeings in the village are divided into two areas comprising of World Heritage Area and Southern Nature Area. The World Heritage Area is centred on the Ogi-machi Gassho Style Village. The numerous houses are well preserved their original since around 1800. Even today, the local people continue to live their daily life in the gassho style houses amongst the outstanding and impressive scenery. Apart from the ancient houses, the area also houses several museums such as Myozenji Temple Museum and Tajima House Museum of Silk Culture and observation area to admire the above view of Shirakawa-go. At the information centre near the parking lot, the maps of gassho style village are providing for all visitors. In the Southern Nature Area, it’s the area around the Hirase hot spring village where you can enjoy bathing in the onsen after roaming around the World Heritage Area. Hot springs in this area are popular among women as it is known for their beautifying effects on the skin. Wandering between the “World Heritage Area” and the “Southern Nature Area” takes about fifteen minutes by bus or car.

Located in the northwest of Gifu which is approximately in the centre of Japan, Shirakawa is easy to access by the car or public transportation like bus and train.

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