Please confirm the current schedule and charge in advance, as they may vary due to holiday hours, seasonal rates, etc.

Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village

Murakami House

Try making sasara-ami

Historic Village of Shirakawa-go

Deaibashi Bridge

Take the JR Hokuriku Line from Kanazawa Station to Takaoka in the early morning. There you can change onto the Kaetsuno Bus bound for Gokayama. The bus takes national highway 156 from the Tonami Plain up into the mountains, and continues through a series of roads and tunnels until it reaches the Gokayama Ainokura-kuchi . Our first stop is the Unesco World Heritage Site of Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village.

Kanazawa Station 6:38 (Hokuetsu Limited Express 1) - Takaoka Station 7:03. Fare: adult - 1470 yen, child - 740 yen. Takaoka Station (Kaetsuno Bus) 7:30 - Ainokura-kuchi 9:23. Bus Fare: adult - 1450 yen, child - 730 yen. Ainokura-kuchi - Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village, approx. 5 min. walk.

Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village is one of the most authentic remaining villages with its surroundings of rice Fields in the valley adding to the scenery. It also has some view points up in the mountains from where you can oversee the entire village. At Ainokura Folk museum building one at the entrance of the village, there are displays showing how people used to live here. At building two you can find documentation on how Gokayama washi paper is made.

Ainokura Folk Museum 9:00 – 17:00. Entrance fee: adult - 200 yen, high school student - 100 yen, Jr. high school student and elementary school student - 50 yen. TEL. 0763-66-2123. (Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village Foundation)

From Ainokura you can take the bus to Kaminashi in the center of Gokayama (Kokiriko-no-sato). Get off at Kaminashi bus stop, and cross the street to get all the information you need to explore the area at the Tourist Information Center. There is plenty to see: the four hundred year old Murakami House, the important cultural asset of Hakusangu, with its 600 year old shrine, the historic prison cells, and more. At the tourist center it is also possible to watch a Kokiriko dance performance.

the Tonami Plain

Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village - Ainokura-kuchi (Kaetsuno Bus) 11:18 - Kaminashi 11:26. Bus fare: adult - 320 yen, child - 160 yen.

8:30 - 17:00 (Dec - Mar : 9:00 - 16:00), closed on Wednesdays (Kokiriko performance : learn to play the sasara instrument to the melody of the Kokiriko song). Entrance fee: high school student and over - 300 yen, Jr. high school student and elementary school student - 150 yen. TEL. 0763-66-2711.

Performances at the Gokayama Tourist Information Center (10:00 - 16:00). Available upon reservation. Fee: 5000 yen, per group. TEL. 0763-66-2468.

The instrument used in the Kokiriko performance is called sasara, and is made out of 108 cypress plates joined together. At the Kokiriko Mingei across the Tourist Center you can try out the sasara yourself.

9:00 - 16:00, open all year round. Reservations required. Try-out fee : 1800 yen. TEL. 0763-66-2312.

Kokiriko dance

Once you have had your fill of Gokayama at Kaminashi, it is on to the bus again to Shirakawa-go. Midway, you can see Suganuma Gassho-Zukuri Village, another World Heritage Site from the bus window. The Ogimachi district of Shirakawa-go, dotted with thatched-roof farm houses, has been selected as an important traditional building preservation area, and since 1995 it is also listed as a World Heritage Site.

Kaminashi 13:56(Kaetsuno Bus) - Ogimachi Gassho-Shuraku 14:33. Bus fare: adult - 1000 yen, child - 500 yen.

Get off at Ogimachi Gassho-Shuraku bus stop and walk through the streets lined with souvenir shops.Across the De-aibashi bridge, on the other side of the Shogawa river, you can find the outdoor museum of Gassho-Zukuri Minka-en, where cultural asset houses are connected by a walking route.

Gassho-Zukuri Minka-en : From Mar. - Nov. 8:40 - 17:00, open every day during this period. From Dec - Feb, 9:00 –16:00, closed on Wednesdays. Entrance fee : adult - 500 yen, child - 300 yen. TEL. 05769-6-1231.

Minka-en Entrance

At Shinshoji Temple, right past the entrance gate of the Minka-en, you can try making all kinds of folk art crafts such as taketonbo bamboo toys, or straw and weaving.

Workshop time schedules can be found on the Minka-en opening time schedule (Winter break from Nov. until Mar. Workshops on reservation-basis only). Workshop fee: taketonbo/wood weaving/straw sandals - 500 yen.

When you have got your own hand-made souvenir to take home, it is time to leave Shirakawa-go, and return back to Kanazawa. The expressway bus leaves from the bus stop outside the Tourist Information Center. Tickets can be bought directly here, but reserving them beforehand is the safest option as seats are limited.

Shirakawa-go 16:50 (Hokutetsu Expressway Bus) - Kanazawa Station 18:05. Bus fare : adult - 1800 yen, child - 900 yen. TEL. 076-234-0123.

This concludes our fun-filled daytrip from Kanazawa to Gokayama and Shirakawa-go. Enjoy sight-seeing in Kanazawa again tomorrow!

Bamboo toy

Shimonashi Pocket Park - Mugiyabushi performance
Right by the Shimonashi bus stop close to Ainokura Gassho-Zukuri Village, you can find Shimonashi Pocket Park, where Mugiyabushi folk dance performances are held on Sundays from April to November.

From Ainokura-kuchi approx. 4 min. by bus.

End of Apr. – start of Nov.:
every Sunday, every 15min.
starting at 11:30.
Admission : free. TEL. 0763-66-2580.

Suganuma Gassho-Zukuri Village
When heading towards Shirakawa-go on national highway 156 from Kaminashi, you can spot Suganuma Gassho-zukuri Village by the Shogawa river bank at your right hand side. At present the village counts nine thatched-roof houses, and is also listed as a World Heritage Site.

From Kaminashi, approx. 7 min. by bus. From Suganuma bus stop, approx. 3 min. walk.

Shirakawa-go Wada House
Wada House is the largest thatched-roof building in Shirakawa-go, and is listed as national important cultural property. Back in the feudal era it used to be the house of an important family, and it still used as a residence even today. Besides this house, Toyama House, Nagase House, Kanda House and Myozenji Temple are also open to the public.

From Ogimachi Gassho-Shuraku bus stop, approx. 7 min. walk.

9:00 - 17:00, closed-days vary.
Admission fee : adult - 300 yen,
child - 150 yen.
TEL. 05769-6-1058.

Shiroyama Tenshukaku Tenbodai (Viewing Platform)
A viewing platform from where you can oversee Shirakawa-go in its entirety, by the Tenshukaku eating establishment. The viewing platform and parking are free. Light-ups in January and February are especially magnificent to see.

From Ogimachi Gassho-Shuraku bus stop, approx. 15 min. walk.
During winter, the shuttle bus (fare chargeds) from Seseragi Park Parking is also convenient.

Click here for other tourist information

Nanto City Tourism Association
  1046 Johana, Nanto, Toyama, Japan TEL. +81-763-62-1201 ▶
Shirakawa-go Tourism Association
  2495-3 Ogi-machi, Shirakawa-mura, Onogun, Gifu, Japan TEL. +81-5769-6-1013 ▶