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Omotenashi Destination Theme About Japan How to

Overnight at a gassho-zukuri house

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Dining room of a gassho-zukuri farmhouse

More than a dozen gassho-zukuri farmhouses in and around Ogimachi are now functioning as minshuku, family run, Japanese style lodgings. An overnight stay at one of these farmhouses is a highly recommended experience, as it is a great way to experience a traditional Japanese family home and get more intimate with gassho-zukuri buildings.

In the traditional style, guest rooms come with tatami mat floors and a low table. During the night, futon are spread out to sleep on. Baths and toilets are typically modern but shared. Staying guests should expect a simple stay without the amenities of Western style hotels.

Guest rooms / Dining room

While equipped for a convenient, modern lifestyle, the old, wooden farmhouses still transmit a very rustic atmosphere. For example, an open fireplace, known as an irori, is found in the common dining room and used for heating and sometimes cooking.

An overnight stay at one of these farmhouses costs around 8000 to 9000 yen per person and includes dinner and breakfast which feature local dishes. In the winter there is a small heating surcharge of around 300 yen per person at many of the minshuku. Reservations for farmhouse stays in Shirakawago are possible through the website Japanese Guest Houses or the local tourist association. For stays in Ainokura in the neighboring Gokayama region, reservations are possible through Japanican.

A minshuku in the snow / Cooking in an irori

How to get there

How to travel between Shirakawago and Takayama

By regular bus
Nohi Bus operates 8-9 buses per day between Takayama and Shirakawa-go. The one way trip takes 50 minutes and costs 2470 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 4420 yen. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.

By tour bus
Guided English bus tours are available from Takayama to Shirakawago and Gokayama. iSite Takayama operates half-day tours from Takayama to Shirakawa-go and back for only 4000 yen, while Nohi Bus operates full-day tours to both Shirakawago and Gokayama for 6690 yen, including lunch. Advance reservations are required.

How to travel between Shirakawago and Tokyo

By Nohi Bus via Takayama
Read first on how to travel between Tokyo and Takayama.

Nohi Bus operates 8-9 buses per day between Takayama and Shirakawa-go. The one way trip takes 50 minutes and costs 2470 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 4420 yen. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.

By Gifu Bus via Nagoya
Read first how to travel between Tokyo and Nagoya.

Gifu Bus operates one bus per day between Nagoya (Meitetsu Bus Center near Nagoya Station) and Shirakawa-go. The travel time is roughly three hours, and the fare is 3600 yen one way. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on this bus.

How to travel between Shirakawago and Kyoto

By Nohi Bus via Kanazawa
Read first how to travel between Kyoto and Kanazawa.

Nohi Bus operates three buses per day between Kanazawa and Shirakawa-go (see timetable). The one way trip takes 75 minutes and costs 1800 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 3200 yen and is valid for up to ten days. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.

By Nohi Bus via Takayama
Read first how to travel between Kyoto and Takayama.

Nohi Bus operates 8-9 buses per day between Takayama and Shirakawa-go (see timetable). The one way trip takes 50 minutes and costs 2470 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 4420 yen and is valid for up to ten days. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.

By Gifu Bus via Nagoya
Read first how to travel between Kyoto and Nagoya.

Gifu Bus operates one bus per day between Nagoya (Meitetsu Bus Center near Nagoya Station) and Shirakawa-go. The travel time is roughly three hours, and the fare is 3600 yen one way. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on this bus.

How to travel between Shirakawago and Nagoya

By Nohi Bus via Takayama
Read first on how to travel between Nagoya and Takayama

Nohi Bus operates 8-9 buses per day between Takayama and Shirakawa-go. The one way trip takes 50 minutes and costs 2470 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 4420 yen and is valid for up to ten days. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.

By direct Gifu Bus
Gifu Bus operates one direct bus per day between Nagoya (Meitetsu Bus Center next to Nagoya Station) and Shirakawa-go. Travel time is roughly three hours, and the fare is 3600 yen one way. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on this bus.

How to travel between Shirakawago and Kanazawa

Nohi Bus operates three bus buses per day between Kanazawa and Shirakawa-go (see timetable). The one way trip takes 75 minutes and costs 1850 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 3290 yen and is valid for up to ten days. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses.

How to travel between Shirakawago and Gujo

By direct bus
Gifu Bus operates one direct round trip per day between Nagoya, Gujo and Shirakawa-go. The one way trip between Gujo and Shirakawa-go takes 100 minutes and costs 2160 yen. In Gujo, the bus stops at "Jokamachi Plaza" bus stop in the town center.

By bus via Takayama
Take a bus from Gujo to Takayama (75 minutes, 1650 yen, 9 buses per day) and then a different bus from Takayama to Shirakawa-go (50 minutes, 2470 yen, 8-9 buses per day). Note that the bus stop in Gujo, "Gujo-Hachiman Inter" is located along the expressway outside of the town center.

information source: japan-guide.com

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