The Takaoka Mikurumayama Museum opened in April 2015. It offers diverse commentary on the area’s elaborate mikurumayama floats, which are registered as both important tangible and intangible folk-cultural assets of Japan.
Tel: +81-766-30-2497 / Open 9:00 AM-5:00 PM (last entry at 4:30 PM), closed Tuesdays (or the next weekday if Tuesday is a holiday) / Admission is 300yen for the paid exhibits / 47-1 Moriyama Machi, Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture / Located a 12-minute walk from Takaoka Station on the Ainokaze Toyama Railway
Zuiryu-ji was the family burial temple for Toshinaga Maeda, second head of the Kaga Domain and is a surviving example of Zen temple architecture from the early Edo period. The temple gate, butsuden hall, and lecture hall are national treasures, while the main gate, meditation hall, roofed corridor, large teahouse, and three corridor structures are designated important cultural properties.
Tel: +81-766-22-0179 / Open seven days a week 9:00 AM-4:30 PM (changes seasonally) / Admission: 500yen / 35 Seki-honmachi, Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture / Located a 15-minute walk from Hokuriku Shinkansen Takaoka Station
"Suganuma and Ainokura " are two of the hamlets that were registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1995 under the title Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Suganuma is along the river, while Ainokura is situated on a tiny plain in the middle of the mountains. They can only be toured during the daytime, but Ainokura also has some old gassho-style (thatched roof) homes where you can stay the night for an unforgettable experience.
This gassho-style thatched-roof home is registered as an important cultural property and was built in the 16th century. Guests can sit by the old irori hearth and hear from its current owners. You can also watch a performance of the Kosasara dance featuring the kokiriko percussion instrument for an additional fee if scheduled in advance.
Tel: +81-763-66-2711 / Open 8:30 AM-5:00 PM (changes seasonally), closed Wednesdays (unless Wednesday is a holiday) / 300yen / 742 Kaminashi, Nanto, Toyama Prefecture / Take the World Heritage Bus to the Kaminashi stop. The bus ride takes 1 hour 12 minutes and drops you off right at Murakamike.
September is the season to enjoy folk songs in Gokayama. The Gokayama Mugiya Matsuri takes place on September 23 and 24 in Shimonashi, while the Kokiriko Matsuri takes place on September 25 and 26 in Kaminashi. In Shimonashi, regular Mugiya performances will continue to be held after the festival every Sunday at 11:30 AM through early November or so.
The World Heritage Bus makes six round trips a day from Takaoka/Shin-Takaoka (or Johana) to Shirakawa-go. Some of the buses have now featured wrap graphics since March 2015 to commemorate the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. The body design is inspired by Gokayama baskets, giving the buses the appearance of being wrapped in a basket like a silkworm cocoon as it heads into the mountain villages. The fare is 1000yen from Takaoka or Shin-Takaoka to Ainokura-guchi, and 1200yen to Suganuma.
Tel: +81-766-21-0950 (Kaetsunou Bus Ticket Center)