Gokayama region is located in Nanto city, the southwest part of Toyama prefecture. The region stands along the Sho River and consists of 5 valleys. Gokayama means 5 valleys: “Go” means “5″ and “Yama” literally means “valleys” in Japanese. There are 2 districts named Ainokura and Suganuma where Gasshou Zukuri style houses line in this area. They were registerd as a World Heritage Site in 1995 with Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture. Gasshou Zukuri style houses have a steep thatched roof. “Gasshou” refers to “two hands together”, which the shape of roof resembles.
This area is known as a place of heavy snow. The roof was made steep so that snow could fall from it easily. Moreover, all the houses stand to the same direction because of strong winds from the valley. Once you visited here, you would feel as if you had been transported to 200 years ago.