Ainokura Gassho Community
Ainokura Gassho Community
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Ainokura Gassho Community and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles297 reviews
Excellent
169
Very good
105
Average
21
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Sarah LW
Brisbane, Australia72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I read about Ainokura in Lonely Planet and from that point on I made sure that I had to go out to visit there. I stayed in Toyama, not far from the train station, hired a car for the day and drove out to Ainokura. It was so worth it! It's such a beautiful village and was a beautiful way to experience traditional Japanese hospitality and living. It really is a must! It's like you've stepped back in time into a fairytale.

Make sure you visit the Gokayama tourist information centre and Murakami House before you make the drive to Ainokura. When you're at the visitor centre make sure you put a sticker on the map of where you're from, my family were the first visitors from Samoa to place a sticker there.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

liburannatal
Singapore, Singapore36 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Ainokura is one of the three villages with gassho-style farmhouses designated as UNESCO World Heritage site. It has about 20+ farmhouses: smaller than Shirakawa-go but bigger than Suganuma. Majority of tourists will skip this village so it is a better place to explore and enjoy a more peaceful and rustic atmosphere. There is a viewpoint to look at the village overall from a higher ground about 15 minutes walk.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

StanleyAuckland
Auckland, New Zealand2,214 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2011 • Couples
My wife and I stayed two nights in Takayama.
As soon as we arrived in Takayama we booked a Nohi Bus Guided Tour to Shirakawago, which included Ainokura Village The tour was booked for our second day.
The tour left from Takayama Bus Depot next to Takayama Station. Cost was 6,500 yen (per person) which included lunch and admission to the Shirakawago Heritage Museum.
I consider the tour good value (even if you don't understand Japanese). If you did your own thing, the return fare to Shirakawago alone would cost 4,200 yen, plus lunch ,plus at least one entry fee.
The bus departed Takayama at 8.30am. The whole journey is scenic. The bus first went to Ainokura Vilage arriving about 10 am. We were there about 30 minutes then went on to Shirakawago where we stopped for lunch (set menu) at a restaurant on top of a hill overlooking Shirakawago.
We were then driven down to the village where we were guided for about half an hour then set free to wander at will. In all we spent about two hours at Shirakawago before boarding the bus back to Takayama, arriving there about 3 pm.
We enjoyed the trip even though it was a rainy day.
I recommend this tour and suggest that you book at least a day before.
Written February 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Baldrobe
London, UK203 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
This historic village with thatched houses is very unusual and picturesque and worth a visit. Earlier in the morning seemed to avoid the tour groups which arrived as we left.
Written April 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravellingNZkiwi
Auckland, New Zealand73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
The second we got off the bus, breathed in the cool clean mountain air and looked around at snow capped mountains we knew it was a great place to relax and recharge after a hectic travelling week. I thought it would be hard to get to but it was easy!
We got the Shinkansen from Kanazawa station to Shin-Takaoka (15min & covered by JRPass); this is a small train station so you just walk outside to the World Heritage Bus/Kaetsuno-bus bus stop. Caught the bus (take a ticket as you hop on) directly to Ainokura (1-hr). On the bus there are clear computer screens notifying you in English all stops. You pay as you get off, our trip was 1000yen. When you get off the bus cross the road and follow the sign to the village, an easy walk about 500m.
We were going to go to other villages but got told a few days prior that the bigger ones are just solid with tour bus groups and shops. We were so pleased we just came here. Stay 1-2 nights, we stayed in a Gassho-zukuri farmhouse; highly recommended.
A stunning farmhouse village and lovely traditional homes.
Caught the 10am bus back to Johana station, then a JR local train to Shin-Takaoka station, then then Shinkansen to Tokyo. An easy 2 day trip from Tokyo.
Written April 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

thecatyouandus
Barcelona, Spain28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Couples
Last october we spent one night of our honeymoon in Ainokura, a small little village which is known for being one of the World heritage site gassho-zukuri towns. It is smaller than Ogimachi and was our second choice after we learnt that the first one was completly fully booked for the night. However, at that time we didn’t know how lucky we were to change towns!

We saw very few visitors in the town (Shirakawago is 100 times more crowded!), and some locals, most of the times we felt completly on our own in one of the most gorgeous places in earth (maybe being in our honeymoon may have maximized my feelings ;) ).

Bonus tip: Visitors can’t come to the town before 10:00 so take advantage of this extra privacy if you spend the night in one of the wonderful inns like the Goyomon house (which was our home for that night).

Check lots of pictures of the village at our post about Ainokura:

http://www.thecatyouandus.com/japan-ainokura/
Written July 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Docjoes
98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Ainokura is nestled between mountains in a rather remote location more popularly known as Shirikawago. My 4 yr old son and I stayed in the Goyoman, one of the tatched roof gassho style homes for 2 nights. We were told the buildings were something like 200 years old and still in its original condition. We were treated to a generous spread of culture. The rooms were spacious. Do nit expect luxury conditions though as the rooms are meant to give visitors a feel of what a traditional room feels like. Though it was freezing cold outside, we had matresses and futons, heater and heated box of coal(i think) which is placed beneath the matress. My son had more fun and memories here than he did tokyo disneyland. Living with the locals especially the Goyoman household is perhaps the highlight of our stay. It was winter and the snow was deep. A thick blanket of white covered every roof and sidewalk. Paths uphill double up as sleigh tracks. From the time the sun sets till it rises the next morning, a peaceful calm envelopes the entire village. The trip to ainokura was especially challenging for non Japanese speakers nevertheless, from Tokyo, we took a Shinkansen, followed by a local train and bus. In all, it took us about 5 to 6 hours, if I recall correctly. Perhaps the inaccessibility was what kept the place well preserved. It is also a world heritage site. I hope it stays that way and hope all visitors to this remarkable village appreciate the beauty of this historical place.
Written June 30, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

oaklandfamtravelers
Oakland, CA28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Family
A visit to this town was one of our favorite stops in Japan. We stayed at Minshuku Yomoshirou. There are a limited number of places to stay and they are all traditional Japanese guesthouses. This minshuku has great food and is run by a very friendly family. It is a stay in a 250 year old gassho home.

This village is very beautiful and also gives you a sense of life in a Japan of long ago, and there are few tourists here. However, the town is very tourist friendly with a few little museums and shops.

It is a bit difficult to figure out how to get to Ainokura. From Kyoto we took the Skinkansen to Nagoya, and from Nagoya the train to Takayama. We put our luggage in the lockers at Takayama station and from there caught a bus to Shirakawago. Finally from there we took the world heritage bus to Ainokura. It is fairly expensive to take the buses. One way for both buses is around $35 US for an adult. The travel time from Kyoto was about 6 hours, and our layovers between trains and buses were minimal. The last world heritage bus leaves from Shirakawago at 4, so make sure to get an early start.
Written June 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brett W
Gold Coast, Australia356 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
We hired a car from Takayama and visited the three World Heritage listed villages with gassho style houses in the Shirakawago and Gokayama region in the following order - Ogimachi, Suganuma & Ainokura. Whilst Ogimachi has some advantages, for me, Ainokura was the pick of the three. It's small, nestled amongst hills and less visited...at least when we were there late afternoon. The highlight was the paper making workshop. VERY interesting! Ultimately, what I liked most about all three villages is that they are "living" communities. I wasn't expecting that at all. While I understand that must come with challenges from a preservation perspective, I think the everyday artifacts strewn amongst the centuries old buildings makes it "real" and easier to imagine life here 300 years ago.
Written July 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roy v
Traralgon, Australia5,871 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Couples
During our recent holiday in Japan my wife booked a few days in Takayama with the plan to bring me here as she knew I would love the remote snow covered village, she was right it was glorious. It is an hours bus ride from Takayama. Given World Heritage status in 1995 the place is a treasure. The village contains about 20 GASSHO STYLE HOMES and the population of about 80 live there as their ancestors have for centuries. the huge triangle shaped, heavily thatched houses are designed to withstand the harsh conditions in this remote mountain area and are from 100 to 400 years old. they are very comfortable inside and have a central fireplace. The huge frames are made from big timbers cut from the forests jointed and bound together with ropes and vines, there are no nails used in the construction, they range from 3 to 5 floors high and most of the living is done on the ground floor. In days gone by the upper floors were used for silkworm farming which was a big industry in Japan at that time and the waste from the silkworms was used in the production of gun powder. It was lovely walking around the village and to take the walk up the hill above it to get some great photos. One has to be carefull of course in the snow to keep to the trail but the forest looked like a magical white wonderland.The snow was about 2 plus metres deep and it snowed all the time we were in the area and that is normal all winter . This place is worth coming a long way to visit.
Written March 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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