Shirakawago in Japanese means the village of white rivers. Gassho zukuri sloping thatched roof architecture is like praying hands, both religious and to protect the people here. Shirakawago village is charming with its simplicity and tranquility. There, as if time stopped, to look, to look, to recharge the energy of life.
The image of Shirakawago varies with the seasons.
However, the winter in the old village is especially fascinating to anyone looking at.
Shirakawago in central Gifu province is one of the two most unique ancient villages in Japan, the village has 152 old houses, the oldest house of the village is over 400 years old. The Gassho zukuri thatched cottage is made of wood, covered with thatched roof with a thickness of 50cm, with a characteristic black color made from wood. To complete this old house people take several months. The roof of the house is made very elaborately, usually when a house repairing roofs of the people around the village comes to support. Each roof is 30-40 years old. Making the roof is very expensive, the house will be replaced by the local government when the roof is changed, the owner of the house will only cost 10% of the repair fee.
The house is designed in the shape of a triangle, in the middle of the first floor there is a firewood stove that is both warm for heating and durable for wood. From the 2nd floor onwards, the floor between the spaces has gaps to allow smoke from the 1st floor to escape. A prominent feature of old houses is that they do not use nails on the walls. Instead they use ropes or jute. Ancient houses here are locally supported in conservation.
Snow-covered triangular houses create an ancient picture in Shirakawago village. At an altitude of 500m above sea level, the road to the village must go through a 107 m long rope bridge called Deaibasi – Ky Duyen Bridge. People here said that the bridge is also one of the symbols of the village, wishing to always be in harmony.
Deaibasi – Bridge of grace
According to the wet rice culture, every year, in the ancient village of Shirakawago often hold the Dobudo festival. This is the biggest festival of the year to celebrate the harvest and pray for the gods to protect the villagers to have a good harvest in the next crop. During the months of January and February, every Saturday night, the village organizes electric lighting in all houses to create a Light Festival that attracts tourists. The village has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.
Dobudo Festival, all the old houses are lit up, creating a light festival that attracts a large number of tourists