Gassho-style farmhouses, big, triangular and with thatched roofs are very rare in Japan, only found in the villages of Ogimachi at the Shirakawa-go region (Gifu prefecture) and Ainokura and Suganuma at the Gokayama region (Toyama prefecture). Due to their particular location at a river valley nestled in the mountains and difficult access, they have remained isolated for a long time and people from there developed a particular farming style, cultivating mulberries and rearing silkworms. The architecture of these houses reflects the socio-economic as well as geographic/weather circumstances and, for all those reasons, they are listed by UNESCO as world heritage traditional sites. Many of these are 100 to 200 years old (some as old as 400 years).
How To Get There and Around
The best way to get to these villages is either by car or bus. There is no train station or taxi.