©Shirakawa Village Office
Stay in a Traditional Thatched Farmhouse in a Scenic Rural Village
Experience how villagers once lived in these iconic traditional homes
The iconic village of Shirakawa-go is tucked away in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture in central Japan. It consists of a cluster of 100 or so historic farmhouses—some over three centuries old—set in an alpine valley. Their thatched roofs are unforgettable. They are, built in the Gassho style, so named because of the steep pitch similar to praying hands. The thickness of the thatch helps insulate the interior, while the vertical angle helps the roofs shed the heavy snowfalls for which the area is known.
This fairytale-like setting in an authentic rural landscape is still home to villagers who are keeping old customs alive. Although it is a popular destination year-round, it is particularly attractive in the winter months when an illumination event lights the farmhouses in the snow-covered valley.
Many of the homes have been repurposed as inns or guest houses, and welcome guests interested in experiencing what rural life was like in this once isolated part of Japan.
Ogimachi Shirakawa-mura Ono-gun, Gifu-ken