Shirakawa-go

  • Panoramic view of the Gassho-Zukuri Village in summer
  • Gassho-Zukuri Village covered in snow
  • Ojirakawa hot spring Shiramizu bath house
  • Kanda House and cherry blossoms
  • Shiramizu waterfall in spring
  • Lingering snow at Wada House
  • Fresh greenery at Hakusan National Park Virgin Beech Forest
  • Gassho-Zukuri farm house seen from a distance
  • Mizubasho (Skunk Cabbage) flowers at Okuboike Pond
  • Wada House and green rice field

- Topography

Shirakawa-mura is located in the north-western part of Gifu Prefecture, and consists of 16 villages dotted along the Shogawa river and the national highway. 95% of the total area (35,655ha) is mountain and forest; 0.5% is agricultural land.

- History and Beginnings

The village is famous for its world heritage site “Historic Village of Shirakawa-go.” Shirakawa-mura was established in 1919, but the oldest remaining farm houses are approximately 350 years old.

- Features

Shirakawa-mura boasts a great number of tourist attractions. Since 1995, the historic village has been listed as a Unesco world heritage site, and additionally, the virgin beech forest of Hakusan National Park rivals if not surpasses the world natural heritage site “Shirakami-Sanchi.” Besides these sites, Shirakawa-go also offers the hot spring baths of Ojirakawa and Hirase Onsen.

- Main industries and special products

Since the world heritage accreditations, Shirakawa-mura has become a much visited tourist spot and many of the villagers are engaged in tourism related industry. Japanese traditional sweets, made from local products are a regional specialty.

- Local government PR

Shirakawa-mura does not have railways and the conditions of its roads were poor, however, in 2008 the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway was completed causing a dramatic improvement to accessing the village. Nine buses a day come to Shirakawa-mura from Takayama, and three buses go from there to Kanazawa, resulting in a great improvement in the convenience of Shirakawa-mura’s transportation as compared with in the past.