Top things to do in Shirakawa-gō & Gokayama

Historic Building in Gokayama District

Murakami-ke

Between Suganuma and Ainokura, in the hamlet of Kaminashi, you'll find Murakami-ke, one of the oldest gasshō houses in the region (dating from 1578). It's now a small museum; the proud owner delights in showing visi…
Shokudo in Ogimachi

Irori

At the entrance to Ogimachi, this bustling eatery serves regional specialities such as hoba-miso (sweet miso paste grilled at the table on a magnolia leaf), yaki­-dofu (fried tofu) and soba or udon teishoku (set mea…
Gallery in Gokayama District

Gokayama Washi-no-sato

North of Ainokura on Rte 156 you'll find this roadside attraction, which explains the art of making washi (handmade paper) and gives you the chance to try making some yourself (from ¥500; reservations required, limi…
Historic Building in Ogimachi

Wada-ke

Shirakawa-gō's largest gasshō house is a designated National Treasure. It once belonged to a wealthy silk-trading family and dates back to the mid-Edo period. Upstairs you'll find silk-harvesting equipment and a val…
Museum in Gokayama District

Ainokura Minzoku-kan

Stroll through the village to this interesting folklore museum, with displays of local crafts and paper. The museum occupies two buildings, the former residences of the prominent Ozaki and Nakaya families.
Soba in Gokayama District

Matsuya

Truly delicious soba and tempura set-lunch menus in a gasshō-zukuri house smack bang in the heart of Ainokura village. Try the house-made tofu, or the mountain vegetables steamed in soy and sake.
Museum in Gokayama District

Gokayama Minzoku-kan

You can see items from traditional life and displays illustrating gunpowder production, for which the area was once famed, at this folklore museum.
Cafe in Ogimachi

Ochūdo

Set around a large irori (hearth) in a 350-year-old gasshō house, this delightful cafe serves curry rice, tea and coffee.
Museum in Ogimachi

Myōzen-ji Folk Museum

Adjacent to Myōzen-ji, Ogimachi's small temple, Myōzen-ji Folk Museum displays the traditional paraphernalia of daily rural life.
Museum in Ogimachi

Gasshō-zukuri Folk Village

Over two dozen gasshō-zukuri buildings have been relocated here, although the arrangement feels contrived. Several houses are used for demonstrating regional crafts such as woodwork, straw handicrafts and ceramics (…