[From May Issue 2015]
In Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture there are two villages with unique so called “gasshou-zukuri” style steeply sloping thatched roofs. This year marks the 20th anniversary since they were registered as a World Heritage Site. While most of the houses were built around 100 to 200 years ago, some of them have a history of around 400 years. Residents still live in them and at houses where accommodation and meals are provided, guests are served edible wild plants and iwana mountain trout by the hearth. The site is also a centre of production for washi Japanese paper and visitors can make round fans and postcards by taking part in the Japanese paper-making experience. From around mid-May every year, Ainokura Village is illuminated to create a magical Japanese countryside scene that will delight visitors.
Access: At JR Shin-Takaoka Station, get on the “World Heritage”bus, get off at “Ainokuraguchi”and walk about five minutes to Ainokura Village, or get off at “Suganuma” and walk about three minutes to Suganuma Village.
Gokayama Tourist Information Center
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
To park in the villages you must pay a fee that will be used for the conservation of these properties: 500 yen for standard or light vehicles, 100 yen for two-wheeled vehicles.
Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko