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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.


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