About Gokayama Ainokura

Why was Gokayama area registered as a World Heritage Site?
Gokayama, located in the southwest of Toyama Prefecture, is one of the most heavy snowfall areas in Japan. A gabled private house with a large roof was created to carry out production activities such as sericulture while enduring this heavy snow. When you look at this building from the front, the steep roof looks like you worship toward the heavens with your hands together (gassho-style), so it has come to be called "gassho-zukuri". The construction is made by tying up with ropes in cooperation with the villagers without using nails.
  • 夕暮れ時
    At dusk
  • あまの内部
    Two-layer part called “Ama” (2nd floor)
Since the middle of the Showa era, the number of gassho-style buildings has decreased rapidly. Meanwhile, the Ainokura and Suganuma villages, where a relatively large number of gassho-zukuri remain, were registered as a World Heritage Site (cultural heritage) in 1995 as "Shirakawa-go / Gokayama Gassho-zukuri Village" along with the neighboring Shirakawa-go. It was because that not only the traditional houses but also the traditional life and culture were strongly preserved. The rural landscape centered on the gassho-zukuri houses was evaluated as a valuable cultural heritage in global. Even now, for example, lion dances and festivals, ancient folk songs, and Hoonko (a Jodo Shinshu Buddhism devotional event) are carefully inherited.
  • 春祭り
    Spring festival
  • 放水銃の防火訓練
    Fire drill (water canons)
There are 20 "gassho-zukuri" houses in the Ainokura village where Yusuke is located. Many of those were built from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, and the oldest ones are estimated to the date back to the 17th century.
1970 (Showa 45): Designated as a national historic site.
1994 (Heisei 6):"Ainokura Village and Suganuma Village" were selected as an Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
1995 (Heisei 7): "Shirakawa-go / Gokayama Gassho-zukuri Village" were registered as a World Heritage Site (cultural heritage). "Gokayama Song and Dance" were designated as an Intangible Folk Cultural Property.
History of Gokayama
  • 春祭り
  • Earthenware that seems to be in the middle of Jomon era was excavated in various parts of Gokayama.
    In the Middle Ages, Ningyoyama (1726m) was a symbol of mountain worship.
    There is also a legend of the fallen warrior of Heike Family.
  • 春祭り
  • 1468 (first year of Onin)Rennyo Shonin arrived in Kyoto through Inami Mizusenji Temple, Gogayama, and Shirakawago.
    本Due to the action of Honganji VIII Rennyo Shonin and Akao Doshu, the influence of Honganji spreaded throughout Gogayama.
  • 春祭り
  • 1585 (Tensho 13)Became the territory (execution area) of the Maeda family of the Kaga clan.
    The industries of Gokayama around this time were silkworms, washi paper, saltpeter (raw material for gunpowder), charcoal.
  • 春祭り
  • 1952 (Showa 27)Started of bus service between Johana and Nishi-Akao (Kaetsuno Bus)
  • 春祭り
  • 1981 (Showa 56)56 heavy snowfall1984 (Showa 59)Gokayama tunnel opened / Taira ski resort opened2004 (Heisei 16)Became Nanto City due to the merger of towns and villages (in four towns and four villages)