About Shirakawa-go

World Heritage!

Last updated August. 28, 2014

The Historic Village of Shirakawa-go designated as World Heritage!

[The Historic Village of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama], were listed as sites of The World Heritage at the 19th UNESCO board held in Berlin, Germany on December, 1995, under Japan’s requests.
It is the 6th World Heritage in Japan after Himeji Castle and Shirakami Mountains, and there preservation over hundreds of years has been recognized worldwide.
It will be preserved as a Heritage shared by the human race.

What is Gassho-zukuri (Traditional Houses in the Gassho Style)?

Gassho-zukuri is a house built of wooden beams combined to form a steep thatched roof that resembles two hands together.
You can see houses such as these in other parts of the country. In Shirakawa, they are called “Kiritsuma-Gassho-zukuri,” and the roof can be looked triangular just like a standing book open.
It is the characteristic of these houses in this country.
The structure is built to suit the environment in Shirakawa. It is made to with stand heavy snowfall.
The house face north and south, to minimize wind resistance.
They are also built for be comfort in both summer and winter. The houses stand in a certain direction to adjust the amount of sun in order to keep the room cool in the summer and warm in the winter.