Nowadays, the tourist in Shirakawago is increasing every year. Most of the people come to Shirakawago for the fairy-tale snow scenery and the Gassho-zukuri house, and it became even more famous when the Gassho-zukuri house was registered as the world heritage site (1994). However, maybe not many people know there is one more place also registered as the world heritage site at the same time, it is Kogayama. Kogayama is the name of Suganuma and Ainokura these two villages, they even registered as the Japanese historical site (in 1970) earlier than Shirakawago. Compare with Shirakawago, Kogayama is smaller, and fewer tourists, there are not so many stores and restaurants, but it’s also a beautiful and peaceful place.
How to access Gokayama?
The transportation to Gokayama is more complicated than Shirakawago, except driving, the only way is taking the bus and it needs to be reserved in advance. The easiest way to take the bus is from Takaoka or new Takaoka station, or you can also take Nohi bus to Shirakawago, and transfer to world heritage bus to Gokayama. Moreover, taking the Hokutetsu bus from Kanazawa is also an option. For more details and bus timetable please visit the official website.
|The bus company||Route|
|Kaetsuno world heritage bus||From Takaoka or new Takaoka →Gokayama|
|Nohi bus+ Kaetsuno world heritage bus||Takayama,Kanazawa,Toyam→Shirakawago→Gokayama|
|Hokutetsu bus (Takayama route)||Kanazawa→Gokayama|
Spend a night in Gassho-Zukuri house?
If you are interested in spending a night in Gokayama, we would recommend the Minshuku Yomoshiro. Although there are no restaurants and no shops in Gokayama, there are the hospitable owner, delicious homemade dishes and the whole starry sky without light pollution.
We would recommend a walk when you arrive this little village which only has 20 households, or you can also take a rest on the seats at the edge of the house called engawa and enjoy the tea and Japanese snack provided by Minshuku owner.
Delicious homemade food
After having a walk, don’t forget to come back for dinner, the Minshuku provide two meals (the breakfast and dinner) while you are staying. The Sashimi, grill fish are delicious, and the vegetables are also from local, it was a delicious dinner.
The tofu is tasty too, it goes well with soy sauce and rice, simple but yummy.
The breakfast is purely Japanese style, simple pickle vegetable, Japanese stew, with egg rice and miso soup, its tasty and balanced nutrition meal will let you unforgettable.
This is the living room where guests have dinner and breakfast, and there’s a Japanese traditional stove, guests could surround the stove chatting and having a meal together, the atmosphere is just like Christmas Eve. And the owner would tell you the history of this area and play an ancient instrument called Kokiriko, it was quite interesting.
All the rooms are large, and all equipped air-condition and heater, do not worry it would be too hot or too cold. The Japanese futon is also comfortable.
There is a shared bathroom and toilet are male and female separated, both are very clean and tidy.
The view just like the cover of the lonely planet from the observation deck of Gokayama
After the breakfast, you can have a walk to the observation deck, although it need to climb a short distance, it’s a good place to see the whole village. You can see the whole village view from the observation deck, the view is just like the cover of lonely planet. Gokayama is a place with less tourist and where you can experience the truly Japan culture. If you have chance, please come to the Minshuku Yoroshiro to experience a night in Gokayama.