Add dates

Things to do in Shirakawa-go

Our most recommended things to do in Shirakawa-go

Kanazawa to Shirakawago: Half-Day Tour

1. Kanazawa to Shirakawago: Half-Day Tour

Explore the world heritage hamlet of Shirakawa-go on a 4-hour package tour with access to a private vehicle exclusively for you and your fellow travelers. Your English-speaking driver will take you to the World UNESCO site of Shirakawa-go. You will be collected from your hotel lobby, before being whisked off to the UNESCO village of Shirakawago. Your morning or afternoon driving tour will be designed for those looking for convenient access to this beautiful but remote mountain village You will have between 1.5 and 2 hours to spend exploring the village. At the conclusion of your tour, your driver will take you back to Kanazawa City in the comfort of your private car.

Shirakawa-go, Gokayama & Takayama Private Tour From Kanazawa

2. Shirakawa-go, Gokayama & Takayama Private Tour From Kanazawa

This exclusive package is tailored for distinguished guests who prefer the convenience of door to door service. Your driver/guide will collect you from your hotel lobby at an agreeable time.  Shirakawa-go (Shirakawa Village) registered as a World Cultural Heritage site. Shirakawa-go is part of the Hida region and is famous for the gassho-zukuri village found there. The houses were built using a traditional style of the minka (non-samurai houses), and have a thatched, peaked roof that looks like two hands in prayer (gassho). The upper floors of some of the houses were used for silk farming (sericulture), as they had a large space available to store silkworms and mulberry leaves. Shirakawa is a must-see area if one would like to grasp the rich contrast of life in this region. Gokayama, the World Heritage Site is nestled in the tranquil and rustic landscape. Gokayama is in the city of Nanto, also a drive from Kanazawa. It was an extremely secluded village, so modern times bypassed the area. While cities and towns in other parts of Japan were built new, with modern buildings, many of the wooden and thatch houses in the gassho hamlet of Gokayama are over 300 years old, and some are 400 years old. The Japanese prince, Fumihito (Prince Akishino) has said: "One of the three places I like most in the world is Gokayama".  Takayama, Located in the heart of mountainous Central Honshu, Takayama is the gateway to the Japan Alps and the storehouse of Japan's inland culture. Takayama became what it is today in the 1500s, and developed its own unique culture due to its seclusion and high altitude. It is famous for its traditional carpentry expertise, and its carpenters have worked on the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and other nationally important shrines, temples and palaces. It is known locally as Hida-Takayama, and visitors there can enjoy great food, tradition views, and a feeling of "traditional town-life in Japan". Don't forget to try the Hida Beef while you are there.

From Kanazawa: Shiakawago, Hida-Furukawa and Takayama Visit

3. From Kanazawa: Shiakawago, Hida-Furukawa and Takayama Visit

Be picked up by your English-speaking guide at your accommodation in Kanazawa and head to the UNESCO village of Shirakawago. Spend 2.5-hours in Shirakawago exploring the village. Walk across the Sho River on the pedestrian bridge and take in the sights of this fairytale village. Head to the canal-lined streets of Hida-Furukawa. Spend 1-hour in Hida-Furukawa exploring the town and enjoying lunch. Hida-Furukawa is famous for its timber craftsmanship and festivals. Your last stop is Takayama. Spend 2-hours in this preserved town famous for carpentry and sake brewing. Takayama village is a preserved village, with buildings dating back to the Edo period. From Takayama, your driver will take you back to your accommodation in Kanazawa.

Nagoya: UNESCO Tour to Shiragawago & Takayama

4. Nagoya: UNESCO Tour to Shiragawago & Takayama

Experience Edo-period Japan in the Takayama and in the UNESCO-listed Shirakawa-go village. You will have your lunch at your own expense in Takayama first, which is filled with interesting sights and is the gate-way to the Japanese Alps. Some of the must-see spots are the Sanmachi Suji District, which consists of three streets in the heart of Takayama Edo town, which lies just to the east of the Miya-gawa River. The streets are lined with traditional houses, shops, restaurants, sake breweries and, cafes. Then, head to the famous Shirakawa-go for the old gassho-zukuri (thached-roof) style houses that are spotted around this mountain village. Surrounded by rice paddies, you can hear the sounds of insects and birds if you listen. Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. Despite economic upheavals, the villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura, and Suganuma are outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and people's social and economic circumstances.

From Tokyo: Mount Fuji, Osaki & Kyoto 4-day Guided Tour

5. From Tokyo: Mount Fuji, Osaki & Kyoto 4-day Guided Tour

Start in Tokyo and visit Mt Fuji 5th station. Admire the clear waters of Lake Kawaguchi. See the historic Matsumoto Castle. Bathe your feet in the warm foot baths of Gifu. Amaze yourself at the mountain village of Shirakawa-go. Explore the shrines and temples of Kyoto. Shop on the streets of Osaka. Begin your tour with a hotel pickup. Go to Mt Fuji 5th station, weather permitting. Visit Arakurayama Sengen Park to see the Arakura Sengen Shrine, a pagoda built as a peace memorial. Continue to the eight ponds in a small village at Oshino Hakkai. Eat dinner and sleep at your hotel in Isawa-Onsen. Start day 2 with breakfast before you explore Lake Kawaguchi, the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. Go inside Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan's top historic castles. Continue to Okuhida Hot Springs before you visit Hirayu Folk Museum. Experience the foot baths at Hirayu Onsen Ashiyu Park. Transfer to Takayama after lunch. Eat dinner and sleep in your hotel. Wake up on day 3 to enjoy breakfast. Go to the Miyagawa Morning Market and see the local snacks, vegetables, and flowers on sale. View the old preserved streets at Takayama Sanmachi Historic District. Head to Shirakawa-go Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are 250 years old, as you soak up the tranquility by the mountains. Eat lunch and then depart for Osaka city. Arrive at the city and eat dinner. Check in to your hotel. Start day 4 with breakfast and then stop at either Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto's oldest temple, or Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple famous for its gold leaf top floors. Fill yourself up with lunch and head to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto's most famous tourist attraction. Appreciate the red vermilion torii gates which make this Shinto shrine famous. Return to Osaka and visit the business and shopping district at Dotonbori Shopping Street. Enjoy dinner and return to your hotel.

Available activities

  • Private tours
  • Other experiences
  • Day trips
  • Multi-day trips

Other Sightseeing Options in Shirakawa-go

Want to discover all there is to do in Shirakawa-go? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Shirakawa-go

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 60 reviews

A day for beautiful scenery and culturally enriching

The program has been fulfilled. We could appreciate the villages, calmly. We were able to enter small local museums. The guide was very kind and friendly, tried to adapt to our tastes. But I had no competence or culture to guide, it was a pity. Also we thought the visit included the entrance of small museums and houses that we had to pay for. Anyway, it was a great day.

This four days very good. Only set back is Mount Fuji go till first Station...