Kanda House Private Tour & Mochi Baking in Shirakawa-go

Overview

Experience the Japanese countryside at Shirakawa-go! Get a private tour of the famous ‘gassho-zukuri’ Kanda House, with a local who’ll talk about its history and the village lifestyle. You’ll also bake chestnut mochi (rice cakes), to enjoy with tea!

Highlights

  • Get a taste of the countryside life at the picturesque village of Shirakawa-go
  • Tour Kanda House, one of Shirakawa-go’s famous ‘gassho-zukuri’ (steep, thatched roof) farmhouses
  • See tools once used for silk farming and sake brewing in Kanda House
  • Learn about Kanda House’s history and the village lifestyle from an English-speaking local guide
  • Bake ‘tochimochi,’ a Gifu specialty — rice cakes made with horse chestnuts

Key Information

Important Information

- Participants must be aged 5 or above - This tour requires at least 2 participants; if we don't reach the minimum, we will inform you by 16:00 the day before to refund or reschedule Meet at Shirakawa-go Bus Terminal, Shirakawa-go Village, Gifu Prefecture • 3 hours from Meitetsu Bus Center, Nagoya City (4,000 JPY) • 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus from Kanazawa Station (2,000 JPY) or Toyama Station (1,730 JPY) • 50 minutes by bus from Takayama Bus Terminal, Takayama City (2,600 JPY)

Description

Visit Shirakawa-go for a glimpse into the Japanese countryside lifestyle! This little village, which looks like something out of a fairy tale, is a World Cultural Heritage Site. It’s popular among tourists who wish to experience a refreshing landscape coupled with old-fashioned charm. Shirakawa-go is best known for its traditional, iconic ‘gassho-zukuri’ farmhouses, with their steeply inclined thatched roofs resembling hands joined together in prayer. On this activity, you’ll visit one of the village’s two famous farmhouses: Kanda House. Situated near the famous Wada House — a cultural treasure of Japan — the stately Kanda House was built in the Edo period (1603–1867), and is a refined example of ‘gassho-zukuri’-style architecture. You’ll see more than just the outside, though — head inside for a tour of Kanda House, which is open to the public as a museum! At the entrance, take off your shoes and put on cloth sandals (called ‘nuno-zori’ in Japanese) before entering. Kanda House’s caretaker will guide you as you tour the house. You’ll learn about not only the architectural and historical highlights of Kanda House, but also the life of a Shirakawa-go villager. As you’ll be visiting an hour before Kanda’s usual opening time, you’ll have the entire house to yourselves! Inside Kanda House, you’ll find many fascinating sights. The upper floor, for instance, was once used for sericulture (silkworm cultivation) and sake brewing, so you’ll see the tools of both trades there. Within the grounds of Kanda House, you’ll also find a hut made of mortar and a rice barn. As you listen to your guide, you’ll learn how gassho-zukuri houses were designed to adapt to the Shirakawa-go’s environment. Their distinctive roofs weren’t designed for aesthetic purposes; they were meant to weather heavy snowfall, strong winds, and even earthquakes! After the tour, you’ll gather at Kanda House’s communal space — which features an ‘irori’ sunken hearth on the floor — to bake one of Shirakawa-go’s (and Gifu Prefecture’s) specialties: ‘tochimochi.’ Rich yet delicate in flavor, tochimochi are rice cakes made with Japanese horse chestnuts harvested from Shirakawa-go’s mountains and fields. Enjoy them with tea and good company. Refreshingly scenic and informative, this visit to the picturesque Shirakawa-go is a trip worth taking, so book now!

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