The Goyakama region is located in the southwestern part of Toyama. You can see Gassho-zukuri houses at Ainokura and Suganuma in Gokayama. We went to the Ainokura area to see Gassho-zukuri houses.

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Panoramic View of Ainokura

Ainokura has 23 Gassho-style houses. Most of them are 100-200 years old. They ware built from the end of the Edo era to the Meiji era.

The Gassho-zukuri house’s roof has a slope of about 60-degrees, forming a nearly equilateral triangle to allow heavy snow to slide off the roof and to protect the house from the harsh conditions.

At the same time, it provides space for living and working. Only ropes are used to build the roof of Gassho-zukuri house.

Gassho-zukuri houses

Gassho-zukuri houses

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Gassho-zukuri houses

What made the Ainokura area special for me were the crop fields, surrounded by mountains, forests, ponds and footpaths.

It takes only 30-40 mins to look around the Ainokura area, but 2-3 hours spent here would be nice.

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Gassho-zukuri house and flowers

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Gassho-zukuri house and flowers

Night walk in Ainokura Village

Night walk in Ainokura Village

The Ainokura area in the Gokayama region is much smaller than Shirakawago, but we could enjoy an original Japanese landscape.

About 80 residents live in the Ainokura area. I saw some kids who were playing near a footpath. I imagined it must be so hard to preserve their old houses and protect cultural properties with so many tourists visiting the Ainokura area. At the same time, I wish I could live amongst its natural surroundings.