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The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Traditional Houses in the Gassho Style
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$735.87*
and up
Private Custom Full-Day Tour of Shirakawa-go from Takayama
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Like a fairy tale village!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

We visited Shirakawago for a one-night homestay, arriving in the late afternoon, and leaving the following afternoon. I had never seen falling snow before, and this was the place to do it! I was thrilled enough by the first few flakes on our first night, but awakening the next morning to a massive dump of powdery white snow was truly magnificent. Staying in town meant we were onsite before the day-trippers and bus-tours arrived, meaning we had a pristine environment around us from the previous night's snowfall. Truly one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. There is little in the way of English translations within the Gassho House Museum itself (ie all video presentations are in Japanese, obviously, but no headphones or subtitles available), but the scenery and photography opportunities made it an amazing place to visit anyway. The outdoor nature of this site (you walk around a community of old, thatched roof farmhouses) and the heavy snow makes this site unsuitable for people in wheelchairs, or using pushers or prams during winter. It is located very close to the bus station, where these is bathrooms, luggage storage and vending machines, and there is a shop / food outlet at the entrance to the park. An easy day trip from Takyama, the bus ride in is about 30-45 minutes from memory.

Visited January 2013
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2 Thank kato_80_80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Memorable Experience at Shirakawago”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012

We arrived at Shirakawago by bus from Takayama. It was a 45 mins bus ride. The bus took us through mountain tunnels and bridges. Takayama was cold, but when we arrived at Shirakawago, it was snowing. The snow clad Gassho Zukuri houses were a sight to behold. We have never seen these houses before. Together with the mountain forest as the background, they formed a picturesque scene.
Definitely, great experience especially with the snow.

Visited December 2012
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1 Thank sgq8167c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
242 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“overrated”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2012

This place is totally overrated. We can't understand why most guidebooks rate it so highly and even recommend an overnight stay. About the most beautiful sight is the bridge that leads to the village. The houses are unique but they are scattered among some modern buildings. The 50 minute ride there is also expensive.

Visited November 2012
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4 Thank SG_Travelbugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
Level Contributor
295 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“World heritage! Very unique!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

World heritage, very unique! Beautiful scene! Really worth to go. Go up to the hill lookout to see the whole picture of the village. The scenary just as beautiful as a postcard!

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1 Thank piaHongKong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A must-see world heritage site”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

We spent a little under 40 minutes here during a brief bus stop on our way from Takayama to Kanazawa. In hindsight, this place would've been worth a visit of at least a whole morning, or even perhaps overnight in the farmhouses.

Around a 50 minute bus ride from Takayama, the area is a world heritage site with surviving farm houses located among rice paddies and canals (where carp swim through), and constructed in a similar manner to English medieval thatched houses. Once the bus turns off the main highway, meanders down a valley into the ravine, and you walk across the rope bridge into the village, it feels like you've stepped back in time (albeit traces of modern civilisation such as Japanese vending machines and satellite dishes attached to some of the farmhouses!)

It was a really beautiful place and truly remarkable. If you are in the area, then this has to be a must-see. Take the Nohi bus from the bus station next to Takayama JR station. There are several which go back and forth from this site every day. Don't make the mistake of doing a rush trip here - take the time to enjoy this area!

Visited September 2012
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3 Thank Jeff F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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