We took a one hour bus ride from Takayama to Ogimachi Village in Shirakawa-Go. It’s the largest village in the area and it’s famous for several well preserved gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gassho-zukuri means ‘praying hands’ – the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer.
There are a number of farmhouses you can enter but we decided to just go inside a couple of them. I really liked our visit to the Myozenji farmhouse and temple.
We walked the entire village and one of the nicest areas was along the river in the south west corner of town.
The main street is beside the beautiful Sho-kawa River. There were a few shops you could browse and some places to have a bite to eat but over-all the village seemed pretty quiet. We got the sense that the local residents didn’t really like having all these tourists roaming around their village…
In the east part of town, a walk up the hill took us to the Shiroyama Viewpoint.
It was the site of a small castle and the views of the village below were great. There’s a little icecream shop at the top, the matcha icecream was delish!
We had a great time visiting the village and the scenery in this area is really beautiful.
Where we stayed: Oyado Yoshinoya (Takayama) 👍