A quiet gassho-zukuri hamlet alive with the lifestyle of the residents
Ainokura Gassho-zukuri Hamlet in Gokayama is a famous and beautiful place of gassho-zukuri houses surrounded by mountain scenery. 23 such houses exist in the medium-sized village where you can enjoy the atmosphere of a simple and calm mountain village which has been selected as a World Heritage site. Gassho-zukuri refers to the style of the steep-angled thatched roofs which resemble steepled hands to protect the houses from the heavy snow. These houses which have played a major role for a scenery that has existed since the Edo Era mostly range in age from 100 to 200 years old although there is one carefully preserved house that is 400 years old. Even now, this valuable community continues a regular lifestyle by the residents living there.
The history and lifestyle of Ainokura related through the buildings and information
At the Ainokura Folk Center and the Ainokura Folk Museum, you can view the tools which speak to the old self-sufficient farming lifestyle and information on the local traditional handicraft of washi papermaking. As well, there are places such as Seiho Dojo and Sounen-ji Temple along with Genshi Gassho-zukuri which is said to be where the gassho-zukuri style originated so that from the valuable information and buildings, you will be able to learn about how people lived in the old days of Ainokura. Furthermore, from the plateau that is 5 minutes’ walk away from the parking area, you will be able to see the whole hamlet at a spot that is known as the ideal place to take a picture.
Stay over at a gassho-zukuri house and have a heartwarming minshuku experience
There are 7 gassho-zukuri minshuku (Japanese-style B&B) in Ainokura. When you stay over at a minshuku here, you will be able to get that intimate sense of life in a gassho-zukuri house. Features such as the high ceiling, the beautiful interior with the thick wooden beams, the time spent around the hearth, and cuisine using local ingredients all contribute to a special experience. Also, the hamlet is lit up at night so that you can enjoy an exceptional scene bathed in magical light. ＊Please check the illumination schedule beforehand since it is irregular.