Gokayama, Toyama, Japan

Gokayama, Toyama, Japan

Gokayama (五箇山) is an area within the city of Nanto in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its traditional gasshō-zukuri houses, alongside nearby Shirakawa-gō in Gifu Prefecture. The survival of this traditional architectural style is attributed to the region’s secluded location in the upper reaches of the Shōgawa river. This is also the reason that Gokayama’s lifestyle and culture remained very traditional for many years after the majority of the country had modernized. Many of the houses easily surpass 300 years in age.

The Gokayama region includes the former villages of Taira, Kamitaira, and Toga. The gasshō hamlet of Ainokura is located in Taira, while that of Suganuma is in Kamitaira; both are nationally-designated Historic Sites.

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