Shirakawago: Gassho-zukuri Houses

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Shirakawago, white river village, is designated to World Heritage for special Gassho-zukuri houses.

Gassho-zukuri is a Japanese phrase and it means the house is made like prayer’s palms placed together and fingers pointing upward. This design is to avoid tons of snow accumulated on the roof to pressure the house into crashed.

The best visit season, of course, is winter. From October to April the average high temperature is under 20. In November the snow begins and continue until April. Even in May there are some inches of snow. So the special climate makes this special design.

drink coffee at the hill of shirakawago
drink coffee at the hill of shirakawago
shiragawago village
shiragawago village
beautiful traditional house
beautiful traditional house
gassho-zukuri house and pond
gassho-zukuri house and pond

Every Japanese village has at least one shrine. Japanese people believe in “everything is god” and they built up a lot of shrine to accompany their gods.

This shrine is a little special because people made alcohol here. In old era it is prohibited to make private alcohol but the government allowed this small village to do this by a special permit.

shrine
shrine

Some old house is remade to as museum where you can see how people lived and worked years ago.

old house museum
old house museum
old house museum
old house museum

Have to say this design is cute.

gassho house
gassho house
snow roof
snow roof
stove
stove
attic
attic
houses
houses
old village
old village

When you are tired just walk into a tea room and sit down. Watching the boiling water is another interesting thing.

boiling water and stove
boiling water and stove

To get Shirakawa-go, you can take a bus from Kanazawa or Takayama.

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