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和田家 Wada Ke

  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
  • Around Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
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Around Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
997 Ogimachi, Shirakawa-mura Ono-gun, Gifu, 501-5627, Japan
  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
Opening Hours
Date of post:2015/07/24

Important Cultural Property, built more than 300 years ago, one of the biggest house in Shirakawa-go

  • Historical Building

Address:Hagi-machi, Shirakawa-mura, Ono-gun, Gifu pref.
Japan Category : Building
Opening Hours:9:00-17:00
Tel. : +81-5769-6-1058

1. Outline
Wada house is a typical Gassho-zukuri house and one of the biggest houses in Shirakawa-go, its size is 22.3m X 12.8m, three story building. Wada family continued from 1570s and the house was built late Edo period, about 300 years ago. At that time more than 20 people were living in this house. In 1995, the Wada house, main house, storehouse, toilet as well as garden have been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. While still being used as a residence, it is possible to visit in the house. Already more than 300 years passed, this is well maintained and still in good condition to live.

Wada house was handling of Ensho (gunpowder) and sericulture, raising silkworm, has been actively carried out from the Edo period. Second and third floor of the high roof were the workshops, they had a natural humidity control function suitable for the sericulture. Here we can imagine the actual life of late Edo period.

2. Entrance Fee
Adults : 300 yen, Children : 150 yen

3. Access
Wada-ke is one of the houses in Shirakawa-go. So you'd better take a bus from Takayama station, Nagoya station or Kanazawa station. You can reach these stations easily by JR trains. Or you can drive Tokai-hokuriku highway and get off at Shirakawa-go interchange.
Wada-ke is about 10 minutes’ walk from the Shirakawa-go Bus Terminal.

4. My recommendations
Wada family is still living in this house, and they guide us the real life in Gassho-zukuri house, quite original environmental-friendly Japanese life style. I sincerely want to show you foreigners the real old traditional Japan. With the hospitality of Wada family, surely you feel comfortable staying in Gassho-zukuri house.

5. Best visit time
Spring and autumn is especially beautiful with Sakura, cherry blossoms and colorful leaves.
Winter is also beautiful but just some difficulties because of heavy snow.

6. Others
As German architect Bruno Taut (1880 – 1938), urban planner and author active during the Weimar period, praised Gassho-zukuri house's uniqueness of rational and logical structure, we cannot find similar style building in all the world. After Bruno Taut's visit Shirakawa-go, many Japanese people found the real value of this architectural style. Here is a rare place that we can find the old traditional Japan, that why I want to visit here again and again.

Date of post:2015/07/23

The Most Famous House in Shirakawa-go

  • Historical Building

The Wada House is the most famous house of Shirakawa Village, the World Heritage site. The house is the largest Gassho-zukuri house in existence. The Wada family had served as village headmen or officers for generations.

In the main building, there is a huge hall with a fireplace, a living room, a room with the family’s Buddhist altar, a guest room and sleeping rooms. You can see the traditional furniture such as Fusuma sliding doors, Buddhist altar, Tatami-matted rooms and a low table for dining. Best of all is the large attic room. By climbing up the steep stairs, there is a shiny black ceiling, timbers and pillars, which are all tied up without using nails. The construction is very practical. For example, by letting the smoke up to the ceiling from the fireplace on the first floor, its timber would be sterilized and dried with smoke, and won’t rot. From the attic window, you can see the village view. Many tools used in everyday life and sericulture are displayed, too.

By the way, some signs that say, “Please do not disturb. It’s our residence from here” might surprise you. Some people still live in this house, which make us to imagine the lives of people who had lived here from hundreds years ago.

  • * 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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