At Gassho-mura, an outdoor museum that recreates a typical folk village in Gifu's Hida region, make your own pottery or 'sarubobo' lucky doll! Then, enjoy a sweet-savory rice cake called 'gohei mochi' and stroll around Gassho-mura.
Located in Gifu Prefecture's Gero Onsen, Gassho-Mura — also known as Gassho Village — is an outdoor museum that recreates a typical Hida folk village. (Gifu was called 'Hida' in ancient times.) Here, old thatched-roof farmhouses built in the 'gassho-zukuri' architectural style have been given new life; they now house interactive exhibits that introduce visitors to the traditional Hida lifestyle. Some of these houses are nationally recognized cultural properties of Japan. In this experience, you'll make a traditional Gifu handicraft at Gassho-Mura's workshop, Hida Kobo. Choose from pottery — Gifu has had a thriving pottery industry since ancient times — or 'sarubobo,' a lucky doll resembling a faceless child. While sarubobo dolls are traditionally red in color, they now come in a variety of colors, with each color having a different meaning: - Gold: Prosperity, luck with money, victory, success - Silver: Friendship, creativity, talent - Red: Family relations, love, safe childbirth, harmonious marriage - Blue: Luck with studies or business - Yellow: Luck with money and gambling - Pink: Love - Green: Peace and good health - Black: Warding off bad luck and evil When you're done making your ceramic or sarubobo doll, you'll then get a voucher for a piece of 'gohei mochi,' a sweet-savory rice cake in the shape of a traditional straw sandal. This delicacy is a specialty of central Japan. After enjoying your gohei mochi, take the time to look around Gassho-Mura, which has several engaging and fun attractions, including a footbath!