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Access to Shirakawago & Gokayama.

Shirakwago is located far from major cities, which makes it difficult to get to. Make a detailed schedule how to travel to Shirakawago in advance before arriving in Japan.

  Distance to Shirakawago Travel
Travel independently by public transportation Travel by package tour
Access Travel time Cost
From Tokyo 340km 5.5 hours Tokyo-(Shinkansen)-
Takayama-(Nobi bus)-
6 hours
(one way)
33,000 JPY
●transportation for round trip only
1 Night 2 Days 20,000-40,000 JPY
Included: ●transportation
From Osaka 308km 4 hours Osaka-(Shinkansen)-
Nagoya -
(JR)-Takayama-(Nobi bus)-
More than 5 hours
(one way)
25,000 JPY
●transportation for round trip only
1 Night 2 Days 20,000-30,000 JPY
Included: ●transportation
From Nagoya 160km 2.5 hours Nagoya -(Nobi bus)-
3 hours
(one way)
7,200 JPY
●transportation for round trip only
1 Day Around 10,000 JPY

Weather in Shirakawago & Gokayama.

When can we see snow? What should we wear? Let’s check the table below and use it as a reference for your preparation. (By Japan Meteorological Agency)

snow depth(cm)
January 2.6 - 4.4 133
February 2.7 - 4.9 171
March 7.1 - 2.3 133
April 14.9 2.8 36
May 20.7 8.2 0
June 23.9 13.9 0
July 27.0 18.0 0
August 28.7 19.1 0
September 23.9 15.0 0
October 18.2 8.2 0
November 12.3 2.6 14
December 12.3 2.6 78

Sightseeing points in Shirakawago

Shirakawago Wada House
(Important National Cultural Asset)
Myozen-ji Temple

① Myozen-ji Temple

A rare temple with characteristic thatched roof, being 260-year old.

② Doburoku Festival Museum

“Doburoku” is a kind of unrefined sake and locally made in Shirakawago area. You can get a free taste.

③ Wada House (Important National Cultural Asset)

A typical and authentic Gassho-style farm house.People has been living in the building for more than 400 years.

④ Kanda House

A Gassho-style farm house with 4 stories. You can have a tea in the living room on the first floor, listening to the history of the house. On the second and third floor, various tools for sake making and silkworm raising and necessities for living in the heavy snowfall village are displayed. Enjoy viewing around from the fourth floor.

⑤ Nagase House

A 5-story Gassho-style farm house. You can see a 500 year-old Buddhist alter on the first floor and classical living tools on the third and fourth. A video shows the work of communal roof thatching.

⑥ Ogimachi-Jyoshi (the observation platform)

A wonderful photo spot offering a panorama of the whole village. There is a kiosk.

⑦ Gassho-zukuri Minkaen

25 Gassho-style houses in the area and 9 of them are designated as Important Prefectural Cultural Asset. You can see the attic of the house.

*Admission fee is necessary for some points above. Please ask at each reception on your own.

Schedule and Cautions for the Famous
2017 Shirakawa-go Lite-up

This event is only held on 6 days, so admission is limited.
Please plan your trip well in advance.

22nd (Sun), 23rd (Mon), 29th (Sun), 30th (Mon)
5th (Sun), 6th (Mon)
Illumination time:17:30 – 19:30 (2 hours)

Caution: Below-freezing temperatures are expected at the event site. Please bring the following:
(1) Warm clothing, including gloves and hat
(2) Shoes (treaded, non-slip)
(3) Other items, such as flashlights, kairo (disposable heat pads), and earmuffs

Gokayama Map with main attractions

Ainokura Village

You can see 23 “Gassho-zukuri” farm houses in rice terraces. The rural landscape will give you a sense of nostalgia. There are also “Ainokura Folk Museum”, accommodations of “Gassho-zukuri” and souvenir shops.

Suganuma Village

9“Gassho-zukuri” farm houses are in this village. And also it has Gokayama Folk Museum which shows you its history and traditions, and Shoen-no Yakata (Niter Museum). Gokayama Lifestyle Museum is also located near.