Gassho-zukuri. We’re not done talking about it yet because there are still some that can be found in typical farming villages, some ordinary folks still call it home, this 250-year old special farmhouses.
These villages still exist, and one is just 50 minutes away by bus from Takayama.
The UNESCO declared World Cultural Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go and its neighboring region Gokayama has been slowly attracting visitor since it was inscribed in 1995.
Ogimachi is Shirakawa-go’s largest community. A charming village, albeit a slightly “touristy” oriented one, lining the Shogowa River valley.
Its beauty lies not only in the scenery, resplendent in shades of autumn at the time of visit, but as well as in its community. Ogimachi has 2 medical clinics, a primary school and a junior high school.
Many still live in a Gassho-zukuri, but many of the well-preserved farmhouses have become museums, restaurants and there are 20 or so of it that has been made into Minshuku (bed and breakfast) guesthouses.
Time permitting; spending a night there would have been glorious. Instead, we contented ourselves to a nice hot soba meal before heading back to Takayama.
Across the bridge, near the bus stop is a well-constructed outdoor heritage museum.
The Gassho-zukuri Minkaen features 25 preserved farmhouses.
Like Hida-No-Sato, it was relocated and rebuilt to emulate a traditional village in the countryside, scenery and landscape of which is simply superb with the mountains lending the perfect backdrop.