YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!


From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

Gokayama (五箇山) [1] is a collection of historic village settlements in Toyama, Japan. Together with the better-known Shirakawa-go in Gifu, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 9, 1995.


Gokayama is famous for its farmhouses, which are built in a unique architectural style known as gasshō (合掌) meaning "hands together" as in prayer. It refers to the steep roofs of the houses built to keep the snow off in the winter. Underneath the roofs, the large attic area was used to house silkworms. The name Gokayama(五箇山)means "Five Mountains", but the original name is actually "Between Five Valleys" (五箇谷間), which is pronounced the same.

There are two main settlements in Gokayama where you can view a sizable collection of these houses up close: Ainokura(相倉)and Suganuma(菅沼). Ainokura makes up the larger and closer of the two, with twenty-three gassho houses versus eleven in Suganuma, though some people are said to prefer Suganuma for its slightly quieter and more peaceful atmosphere.

Get in[edit]

Gokayama is somewhat inaccessible. The nearest city of any size is Takaoka, from where you can take the JR Jōhana Line to its terminus Jōhana (50 min). From here, Kaetsunō buses [2] travel to Gokayama (40 min). It's also possible to take buses direct from Takaoka, but this costs more (¥1,800) and takes longer (2 hours).

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Suganuma Gasshōzukuri Village (菅沼合掌造り集落).

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Gokayama offers numerous ryokan based Japanese inns for overnight stays. Most of these inns are gassho based inns and offer both dinner and breakfast in the accommodation fee. Dinner is generally traditional Japanese dishes consisting of river fish and exquisite mountain vegetables; you will almost certainly sleep on a futon on a tatami mat.

Get out[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Just like the better known Shirakawa-go, Gokayama's buildings are mainly produced of highly flammable traditional materials, smoking is heavily regulated in the village. If one must smoke they must do so at a designated position within the village (indicated by bench seats, a sign and a 3 foot high large ash tray). Please refrain from smoking unless in a designated area. Gokayama has a backup village fire suppression system, however, triggering it via a burning cigarette butt would be a foul end to a good holiday.


Although this is a moderately popular tourist destination, some people do live in some of the traditional houses. Keep this in mind as you tour.

Get out[edit]

Routes through Gokayama
Takaoka ← Junction W Hokuriku expwy icon.png E  N noframe S  Shirakawa-goGifu

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Create category