"Gassho no Sato" recreates a settlement of 10 gassho-zukuri (thatched) buildings, centered around the Important Cultural Property "Odo House", and the Folklore Museum's exhibits of agricultural and other folk tools allow visitors to experience the culture and way of life of a gassho village up close.
Nationally designated Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property Odo House
A fine example of a gabled thatched roof building. The structure is 21 meters wide, 12.3 meters long and 13 meters high. The ridge tag declares that the construction of "Odo House" took 13 years, from 1833 to 1846, a rather long time.
Nationally registered Tangible Cultural Property Tohyama House, Itakura
The Tohyama House, Itakura, is a wooden storehouse built in 1810. The walls are covered with wooden planks, giving the building its name. (Itakura means "Plank Storehouse".) Itakura was transferred from Miboro in the village of Shirakawa to become the Toyama House storehouse in 1963. (It was designated as an Important Cultural Property 1971.)
The floorboards and cross beams of the second floor are the ceiling of the first floor. This so-called "neda ceiling" shows the construction style used for silk worm farms.
There are two passages written in india ink: "Built by Ihachi and Sadahachi on March 1, 1810, the year of the horse" on a wall post on the first floor, and "Roof rethatched in October 1846 in the year of the fire horse" on the inside of a window shutter on the second floor.
Nationally registered Tangible Cultural Property Iwasaki House (Folklore Museum)
"Iwasaki House" was constructed in the middle of the Edo period, and the form of its gabled thatched roof resembles a book placed face down.
It is a wooden, single-story building with a garret in the roof.
The building was transferred from the Gokayama World Heritage Site at Nanto, Toyama in 1968. The gassho-zukuri style of Shirakawa-go employs "hirairi", in which the walls under the triangular part of the roof are the sides of the house and the entrance is in one of the sides parallel to the ridge. This building however is an example of "tsumairi", where the triangular parts of the roof stand atop the front and back walls, and the entrance is located in one of the gabled sides. The style is said to be traditional of Gokayama gassho houses.
Takehara Puppet Theater Memorial House
Exhibits related to the puppeteer Ichiro Horaoku (1918 - 2004), who controlled more than 100 puppets to create the one-man puppet kabuki theater, "Takehara Bunraku".
Gassho no Ashiyu
A place in Gassho-mura where you can bathe your feet in water from Gero Onsen, one the three great hot springs of Japan. After walking around and exploring the village, soothe your weary feet in an ashiyu (foot bath).
Born in Gifu Prefecture, Enku (1632 - 1695) was a monk who spent his life traveling around the land, and carved some 120,000 wooden images of the Buddha wherever he went. These images of the Buddha, which look like they're smiling, are much loved by many people.
The approximately 30 Enku Buddhas remaining in Gero City are on display here.
Kaeru no Yakata
The "Gero" in the name Gero Onsen is said to come from the sound frogs make in Japanese (i.e. "gero, gero", which corresponds to the English "ribbit, ribbit").
"Kaeru" (frogs) are the mascot of Gero, and Kaeru no Yakata displays exhibits related to frogs of Japan and the world.
Gods of Cooking Takai Shrine
A shrine in which the gods of 3 regions (Tochigi, Shimane and Ibaraki Prefectures), said to be gods of Japanese cuisine, are enshrined together. The shrine is a place of worship for Gero Onsen's cooks and people who want to get better at cooking.