|Way Towards Toyama|
Friday, June 2, 2017
Shirakawa & Gokayama - The Japanese Heritage Villages With Houses Constructed Like Hands In Prayer
Gassho zukuri is locally referred to the typology of houses the region of Shirakawa beholds which literally means ‘constructed like hands in prayer’ resembling the hands of a Buddhist monk while sitting in his prayer. The form of the roof also provided higher withstanding capability in times of heavy snowfall with a calculated slope of 60 degrees. The roof was made without nails in some of the houses which provided a large attic space at the top allowing the farmers to cultivate silkworms even in winters after knowing the fact that hot air rises up. The historic villages of Shirakawa and Gokayama were designated as the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995 which are situated in a lonely and remote river valley of Shogawa stretching across the border of Gifu and Toyama Prefectures in central Japan dating over 250 years ago.