Local name: Shirakawa-mura

If you’d like to see what Japan looked like over a hundred years ago, you should visit Shirakawa-gō (or Shirakawa for short) and Gokayama. These villages are located in a mountainous region in the Gifu Prefect.

This part of Japan has not had much influence from the rest of the world for a long time. This is one of the reasons why it developed independent of outside influence, and why the region still has a lot of original and characteristic architecture.

For a long time, the locals lived off the cultivation of mulberry and the silk worms who live off these trees. You can still see evidence of this. These two villages were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1995.


You can visit these towns all year round. The best time in winter is in January and February as the winter sun is low. The spring is also a good time because the flowers and trees in the villages will be in full bloom, giving them a festive atmosphere.

More information: www.seejapan.co.uk/world-heritage/shirakawa-go-and-gokayama-villages