Shore Excursion Details

World Heritage Sites Shirakawago & Gokayama

Kanazawa, Japan

World Heritage Sites Shirakawago & Gokayama


  • 71/2
    hrs Estimate Duration

Behold the architecture in two isolated villages that UNESCO found so unusual that it deemed them World Heritage sites. The villages of Shirakawago and Gokayama are in the remote Shogawa River Valley surrounded by high rugged mountains, a location that made them difficult to access for centuries.

To cope with the abundance of snow that falls there, the residents constructed farmhouses with steeply pitched thatched roofs to reduce the amount of snow that accumulates on them. The roof design also allows for large attics, in which the residents rear silkworms, which they feed leaves from the surrounding mulberry trees. Only one other nearby village boasts this type of architecture, known as gassho-zukuri, a style that means “constructed like hands in prayer.”

Following free time in both villages, you will watch a demonstration of paper-making in Gokayama. The specialized washi paper is exceptionally colorful and patterned. The fiber for it comes from mulberry trees.

Need to Know:

Note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking on gravel or cobblestones with approximately 20 steps. It is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Casual, weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are suggested.

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Excursion Type:

Scenic & City Tours
Historical Landmarks

Activity Level:

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Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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