From a Village Residents’ Charter to a World Heritage Site

Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are villages that have been designated as a World Heritage Site. Many vernacular houses remain in the village, built in the “gassho-zukuri” style with steeply inclined roofs, appropriated to alleviate the task of shoveling snow off the housetop and securing adequate floor space in upper floors for sericulture purposes. Some of the oldest houses are said to have been built over 300 years ago. During the reconstruction period after World War II, villages throughout Japan had become obsolete due to labor forces being channeled towards urban areas. This region had been no exception, however the efforts of residents in implementing a preservation movement under the keywords, “don’t sell, don’t rent, don’t destroy,” had proved successful in preserving the village to this day.

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  • Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

    Shirakawa, Gifu Prefecture

    Takayama, Gifu Prefecture

    Nanto, Toyama Prefecture

    http://ml.shirakawa-go.org/en/

    Courtesy of Shirakawa Village Office, Gifu Prefecture

  • Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

    Shirakawa, Gifu Prefecture

    Takayama, Gifu Prefecture

    Nanto, Toyama Prefecture

    http://ml.shirakawa-go.org/en/

    Courtesy of Shirakawa Village Office, Gifu Prefecture

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