The unique housing in Gokayama does not use any nails for construction. The houses in the area are built in the style called 'gassho-zukuri' and have three or four floors. The steep roofs are at 60 degrees to prevent snow building up on them. The roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. This mountain village, which has a group of gassho-zukuri houses, received worldwide attention when the village was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1995. Specifically, the gassho villages were recognized as valuable cultural assets to be preserved for later generations, and became Japan's sixth World Cultural Heritage Site.
The unique experience of creating Japanese Washi Paper is included in the visit after which you will move on to Kanazawa, an hour's drive away, where you will enjoy a typical Japanese lunch.
Kanazawa was one of the few major Japanese cities to be spared fire bombing during World War II. It is a thriving center of the arts, long known for its lacquer ware, outstanding collectible pottery of the Kutani style, gold-leaf workmanship and delicate hand-painting of silk for kimonos and Noh theatre dramas. The narrow and winding cobblestone streets have a quaint photogenic charm. Kenrokuen Garden is by far the most famous part of Kanazawa.
Originally built as the outer garden of Kanazawa castle, it was opened to the public in 1875. It is considered one of the "three most beautiful gardens in Japan" and is filled with a variety of trees, ponds, waterfalls and flowers stretching over 25 acres. In winter, the park is notable for its yukitsuri – ropes attached in a conical array to trees to support the branches under the weight of the heavy wet snow, thereby protecting the trees from damage.
Your guide will take you through the gardens and you will enjoy some green tea here before moving to the Omicho Market, established about the middle of the 18th century. Since then, it has been supporting the gastronomic culture of Kanazawa for more than 280 years. Here you can find everything the locals use, whether it is importing or made locally. There are as many as 170 stores including a large number of fish stores that sell fresh fish and seafood caught in the Sea of Japan, vegetable stores that sell unique Kaga vegetables, fruit stores, dried food and marine product stores, grocery stores, and clothing stores besides restaurants. This is always a way to get a true feel of a destination and here in Japan, it is always a wonderful scene.
Departures: 09:00 AM, 08:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - This tour will include easy walking along with driving.
- Please wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes.