Spend the Night in a UNESCO World Heritage Village

Travel back to another time with a stay in the traditional thatched-roof houses of Ainokura

Travelers looking to experience the Japan of yesteryear can't go wrong with a detour to the Gokayama region of Toyama Prefecture. Here, you'll find Ainokura, a village famous for its gassho-style thatched-roof houses. Delight at the traditional architecture, celebrated in Japan for its rarity and historical significance and the timeless lifestyle of the villagers who still call these dwellings home. The name gassho refers to joining one's hands in prayer, referring to the shape of the roof, and you'll feel a divine sense of peace in these idyllic surroundings, blessed with the natural beauty of the mountains in all four seasons.

In Ainokura, you can do more than look, as six houses in the village have opened their doors to guests who wish to stay overnight to experience the pastoral life of Japan's past first-hand. Converse with the family and learn about the village's culture and history as you share meals surrounding a traditional fire pit. During seasonal light-up events, the thatched buildings are illuminated, creating a truly ethereal scene. But be careful: you may find yourself not wanting to return to the real world.

Toyama is a 1-hour flight from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. From there, take a rental car (about 1 hour) or ride local trains and buses (about 2 hours) to the Gokayama area.

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