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Gokayama

Gokayama is a place of precipitous mountains and deep valleys located in the southeastern part of Toyama. It is believed that Gokayama, which means five valleys, was so named because there was a village among five valleys: Akao-dani, Kami-Nashi-dani, Shimo-Nashi-dani, Otani, and Toga-dani along the Sho-gawa River. The houses in the area are built in the style called 'gassho-zukuri' and have three or four floors. The steep roofs are at 60 degrees to prevent snow building up on them, and no nails are used in the construction of these houses. This mountain village, which has a group of gassho-zukuri houses, received worldwide attention when the village and the Shirakawa-go of Gifu were designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in December 1995. Specifically, the gassho villages of Ainokura in the Taira area and Suganuma in the Kami-Taira area were recognized as valuable cultural assets to be preserved for later generations, and became Japan's sixth World Cultural Heritage Site. The Ainokura gassho village has some gassho-zukuri guesthouses available. In the Toga area, the World Drama Festival is held every summer, and theater troupes from various countries around the world gather there to perform their plays.

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