Gokayama is an area in Toyama Prefecture, comprising of 40 small villages, two of which (Ainokura and Suganuma) are registered as World Heritage Sites along with Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture. While much smaller than Shirakawa-gō, the villages in Gokayama see less tourist footfall and are often thought to provide a more intimate experience. The two areas are only a 30-minute drive from either other and so it is easy to visit both in the same day.

Gokayama is a 60-minute drive from the cities of Kanazawa and Toyama. While renting a car is by far the most convenient way to visit the villages (access is poor and the only other option is to join a bus tour), care needs to be taken during winter when the roads become icy and visibility poor due to frequent snowfall.

You May Also Like

Kanda & Jimbocho

Lively student district in north of Tokyo Imperial Palace and the business district around Tokyo Station that is…

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace (皇居, Kōkyo) is located to the west of Tokyo Station and occupies some of the…


Aoyama (Minami-Aoyama and Kita-Aoyama) is an exclusive area of Minato Ward that separates Shibuya Ward and the upmarket districts of Akasaka and Roppongi. It is known for its exclusive fashion stores, chic cafes, classy bars, and good restaurants, which are dotted around the narrow side streets east of Aoyama Dori.


Kanazawa (金沢) is the capital city of Ishikawa prefecture. From the late 16th century until the end of…