Gokayama

  • Beautiful autumn colors at Suganuma Gassho-Zukuri Village
  • One of Japan's oldest folk songs called "kokiriko"
  • Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village covered in snow
  • Reflection of the Gassho-Zukuri in a rice paddy
  • The attic of a Gassho-Zukuri farmhouse called "ama"
  • "Ho-onko"Buddhist cuisine is the root of the deeply religious Gokayama area's hospitality
  • Playing "Mugiyabushi", a regional folk song about the legend of the fleeing Heike warrior clan
  • Gokayama tofu, famous for being so firm it can be tied with a rope
  • Gokayama washi paper, used in making traditional Japanese crafts
  • "Akakabu" or red turnip, an autumn specialty in Gokayama

- Topography

Nanto adjoins the east side of Kanazawa with about 80% of its total area taken up by the forests of Hakusan National Park. The city abounds in nature, and the Shogawa and Oyabegawa rivers run through the city. Nanto’s winters are cold with high amounts of rain and snowfall, and in its mountainous region, snowfall can exceed 3 meters. In the lower lying lands, wide stretches of rice paddies dotted with farm houses make for some beautiful scenery.

- History and Beginnings

The finding of ruins in the city dating back about 1200 years has shown that this area has been lived in since ancient times. About 600 years ago, the city started to take shape with temple town districts and marketplaces sprouting up all over the city area. The Kaga feudal clan promoted the development of new rice fields in the open plains, and in the mountainous region around Gokayama, a characteristic folk culture routed in the natural climate of the area arose, symbolized by the farm houses with the steep thatched roofs called Gassho-Zukuri.

- Features

Nanto has many culture assets, including the world heritage site of the “Historic Village of Gokayama,” as well as abundant nature. Additionally, traditional festivals and events featuring folk entertainment are held all throughout the year. These events, combined with Nanto’s various hot springs and ski areas, allow it to be enjoyed from many different perspectives. Furthermore, with the improvement of access to places such as Kanazawa, Takayama, and Nagoya via the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway that cuts through the city, the development of diverse industries and tourism is expected to take off.

- Main industries and special products

Nanto is home to nationally designated traditional crafts such as Inami carvings and Gokayama washi paper, as well as johana silk goods handed down from ancient times. Its local industry manufactures professional baseball players’ beloved wooden bats, and there is also an abundance of agricultural products such as rice, satoimo potatoes (taro), and red turnips. In recent years attention is being given to new industries such as animation productions using a broadband environment, and next generation robot manufacturing.

- Local government PR

Nanto is a quiet city that is alive with some of Japan’s most beautiful representative scenery, such as Gokayama and its rural landscapes. It cherishes that scenery and the history and culture that have their origin in this unique environment, surrounded by rich nature. Nanto wants to show its visitors a heartwarming welcome, so that they may leave thinking “I’m glad I came”, or “I’d like to visit again”.