Visiting Ainokura Gassho-style Village
There is a world heritage registered village in Toyama Prefecture.
At the foot of a mountain called Gokayama, there are dwellings with oversized thatched roofs. The angles of the roofs are very steep, shaped to slide off the snow. The beams are made of local oak. The trees in this region are bent from the weight of the snow and bent oaks become very sturdy which holds up the thatched roof.
Inside the house, you will find a hearth constructed in the floor and the woods of the interior are blackened by oxidation from the smoke from the fireside. It is said that oxidation increases the longevity of the thatched roofs and in the past the roofs were changed once every 30~40 years. The folks used to grow silkworms on the upper floors, 2nd & 3rd, and on the first floor where the hearth is constructed, people made nitrates, which was treasured in the past because it was an essential ingredient for making gun powder.
The leaves have begun changing colors.