Shirakawa-mura Historic Sites

Historic Sites in Shirakawa-mura, Japan

Shirakawa-mura Historic Sites

Types of Attractions
Sights & Landmarks
Sights & Landmarks
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What travellers are saying

  • SOH KIEN PENG
    Singapore, Singapore9,215 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We came here after visiting Takayama Old Town. It was drizzling when we arrived here and the whole place was cold and appeared misty. The wind was blowing strong when we crossed the suspension bridge towards the rural village. The toilets at the Visitor Information Centre were crowded as many were putting on their raincoats.

    Shirakawago, a mountainous village in Central Japan, is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and a must-go tourist destination if you are in this part of the country. It is renowned for her steeply sloped thatched roofs Gassho-style houses which resembled hands meeting in prayer.

    Mistaken by her exterior appearance, I thought they resemble more like our Attap houses in Malaysia and Singapore and was wondering if our attap houses should also be designated as cultural heritage exhibits. But the tour guide corrected me that these houses are architectural masterpieces as no nail was used in their construction. The wooden beams just slot in with perfect equilibrium without affecting the stability of the structure. The last time I heard of a similar heritage structure which was built without a nail was the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

    Shirakawago is the snowiest place on our planet as the village received almost 400 inches of snow annually while New York in USA (the snowiest place in US) only received 120 inches of snow. The steeply sloped roof of the houses facilitated the accumulated snow to fall away easily without engulfing the house in snow.

    During winter, the village looks scenic and picturesque with dimly lit snow shrouded houses surrounded by snowcapped mountains. It was not an ideal month to come in May as the stunning beauty of this village is best captured in winter. Nevertheless, the rural beauty is pristine and the village historic.

    The panoramic view from the overlooking mountain would be awesome but we do not have the luxury of time as the driver need to reach the hotel at Kanazawa by 5 pm. We spent about two hours at this village, slowly walking and enjoying the rustic scenery.

    If there is a chance, I will come again in winter.
    Written 3 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Johnstanno
    Singapore, Singapore510 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    It is a 15mins or so walk uphill to this observatory. There is a sitting area which you can take in the great view of the whole village and a photo-taking services (1 small photo for free but you need to pay if you want a larger version). There are cafes and souvenir shops there.
    Written 27 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • betteskid
    Boston, MA1,328 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We chose to explore this house when we visited Shirakawa-go and think it was a good choice. It was not nearly as crowded as the Wada House and some of the others but had many interesting displays. You could climb up to all of the floors, giving an interesting perspective as you peered out the windows. You should definitely go inside one of the houses during your visit and I think this one is a great choice.
    Written 4 June 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • drlcs1
    366 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We visited Wada house in Shirakawa-go; which is close to the bus terminal and the bottom of the pedestrian ramp leading to the observation deck. There is a short 3 min video which summarises the history of the building.

    I found that the short visit to Wada house was useful as it help me understand the background to the buildings in the village.
    Written 19 December 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • tomizuta1953
    Funabashi, Japan1,342 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    There are a couple of Gassho-style buildings that the owners allow visitors such as the Nagase Family residence. This is one of the largest buildings in the village with five storeys built in 1890. The heads of the Nagase Family served as doctors for the powerful Maeda Clan of Kaga (currently Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures). According to the brochure you receive as you pay the admission fee, "the house was built in 1890 and has a large steep roof. A single piece of rafter beams, called gassho-zai, about 11-meter-long, runs the length of the roof from top to bottom of the slope. Natural cypress trees over 150 years old and trees over 300 years old are used for the pillars of the house." It is well worth the admission fee of 400 yen to explore their magnificent Buddhist altar to remember their ancestors built about 500 years ago, as well as to visit the silkworm breeding areas on the third and fourth floor.
    Written 11 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Zfy Ed
    Singapore, Singapore9,864 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a nice place to see and understand the lifestyle of the locals, depicting of long withstanding culture and history, and you can have a wonderful experience. It's the Gasho themed styled houses that's beautiful and lovely!

    As we had limited time to spend here, we didn't really have the luxury of time to visit every part (do note that the carpark closes at 5pm and all vehicles must leave before that) and it was already 4.30pm then, so we rushed before making our way back to the entrance, that officially wrapped up our day tour here!
    Written 26 December 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • richard g
    Holt, UK413 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Its well worth a look round but unfortunately the exhibits had no English descriptions which was a shame as we would have liked to have learned more, however its worth visiting.
    Written 30 August 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mizz Ira
    West Java, Indonesia25 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    You can't borring in this place caused many view for enjoy, specially if you came for winter, maybe you can seeing snow into the many house in this village
    Written 31 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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