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相倉合掌造り集落 Ainokura Gassho Community

  • World Heritages Walk around (Old cities)
  • Toyama
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  • ClosedOpen Every Day

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Ainokura, Nanto-shi, Toyama, 939-1915, Japan
  • World Heritages
  • Walk around (Old cities)
Opening Hours
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/07/08

A cozy UNESCO world heritage site village

  • Historic / Cultural Experiences

Gokayama in Toyama prefecture is a little difficult place to go to and, compared to Shirakawa-go, there are not so many people in the village which makes it a very relaxing place.

The historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama were registered as UNESCO world heritage sites in 1995.
Gokayama is a general term of 70 villages which exit around the Sho river and its branches. They say that the general term of Gokayama is derived from five valleys. Its name, Gokayama, can be found in a book from about 500 years ago. Although there are some remains of the Jomon period (14500 BC-300 BC), people mainly started to live in this village in the 15th century.

Among many small villages, Ainokura and Suganuma villages are selected as UNESCO world heritage sites. You can see about 20 gassho style houses in Ainokura and 9 gassho style houses in Suganuma. They are rare examples of villages in which gassho style houses are preserved at their original locations. That's why this district was selected.

Basically, gassho style houses were created to prevent piled up snow and make the work of clearing snow from the roof easier. Also, in the Edo period (1603-1868), the three main industries of Gokayama were sericulture, making ingredients of gunpowder and paper making. Gassho style houses were also shaped to be able to work on these three main industries.

In Ainokura village, there are two museums, "Ainokura minzokukan" (folk museum), "Ainokura dentousangyokan" (traditional industry museum). There is also a house which you can visit if you pay an entrance fee.
In those museums, there are many exhibitions about sericulture, making ingredients of gunpowder and paper making. And, you can also learn about history, life, geographical features and nature from real examples and various aspects about Gokayama.
Ainokura is a cozy village. There are also restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops and some inns. So you can relax and learn about this UNESCO world heritage site.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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