Ainokura is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mountains in the Gokayama area of Toyama Prefecture, on the main island of Honshu.
Ainokura is part of a cluster of villages in the region renowned for their A-frame houses, or gassho-zukuri, with thick thatched roofs. The steep roofs are designed so that the heavy snow that falls in the area slips easily off and doesn't damage the roof.
Stepping back in time
Entering Ainokura is like stepping back in time. There are less than 30 houses in the village - most of which still earn a living from farming the land. A couple are run as minshuku (guest houses) - which is where we stayed over night.
The sound of running meltwater
It's incredibly peaceful. Walking around the village at dusk, the only noises I could hear were the sound of running meltwater, bird song and the wind.
VIDEO: Walking Around Ainokura Village (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Gokayama, Toyama Prefecture
I hope you enjoyed walking around Ainokura Village in winter with me. If so, let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below!
Ainokura Location Map
About the Author
A writer and publisher from England, Rob has been exploring Japan’s 6,800 islands since 2000. He specialises in travelling off the beaten track, whether on remote atolls or in the hidden streets of major cities. He’s the founder of TheRealJapan.com.
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