FARMHOUSES AND ARCHITECTURE
The village is famous for its farmhouses, which are built in a unique architectural style known as gasshō. Gassho-zukuri means “constructed like hands in prayer”, as the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer.
The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.
MEDIA INSPIRED BY SHIRAKAWA
Something else which has brought fame to the village is the Japanese game series ‘Higurashi no Naku Koro ni’ (2002) and the anime series that followed. Although the village residents are not altogether thrilled that an anime series depicting high levels of violence was based on their village, it has brought the tourists nonetheless. A number of locations from the anime series can be visited in Shirakawa; the most popular site being the Hachiman Shrine, the place where Rika Furude met an unfortunate end, and also the major shrine of the village.
- From Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen trains then from Nagoya to Takayama Station by JR Takayama trains and from Takayama-Nohi Bus Center to Shirakawago by bus (5h)
- From Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station by Shinkansen trains then from Nagoya to Takayama Station by JR Takayama trains and from Takayama-Nohi Bus Center to Shirakawago by bus (4h)
Shirakawa-go on our Google map