Suganuma village is one of the World Heritage sites in Gokayama. It is sandwiched between the upstream and downstream parts of the curved Shogawa River.
It takes 60-90 minutes by car (using exp.way) from Toyama station or 90 minutes by World Heritage bus from Takaoka station.
What you should see and eat in Suganuma
Suganuma offers exhibition halls in two gassho-zukuri houses.
In such places as Shirakawago and Gokayama which are not able to effectively grow crop and rice, villegers had to learn the technique to make washi-paper, sericulture or gunpowder.
Although Niter Museum itself looks like an ordinary gassho-zukuri house, This museum exhibits the model of the production site of explosive materials.
The explosive material is made from the soil, wild grasses and the feces of silkworm. The quality may differ depending on the method and each material.
The production tools are also exhibited in the museum and this helps you to easily imagine how difficult it was to make such products.
This is a cafe where you can relax yourself with a cup of tea. A rustic view from the window of the shop with a sip of coffee is surely to heal your mind.
Soba (buckwheat) dumplings is also the specialty of this shop. You cannot also miss it if you love traditional Japanese dumplings.
Enjoy the soothing melody of Kokiriko-bushi
Kokiriko-bushi is the oldest folk song in Japan, which is believed to be invented in Gokayama area as old as 1,500 years ago.
The music of Kokiriko-bushi is characterized by the use of instruments called “dengaku”, a traditional Japanese performing art celebrating the great harvest of the year. The man wears an elegant hat called “oriboshi”on his head and is dressed in a samurai style called “hitatare”.
The woman performs with a formal hat called “eboshi” on her head, a typical mens’ costume called “suikan”.
This is the most well-known dance performed by men playing a traditional Japanese instrument called “binzasara” in their hands and dancing loudly and heroically.
Kokiriko-bushi became widely known in Japan 50 years ago when the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology at that time designated it as a music teaching material for junior high schools.
Suganuma is a place to sooth your mind
Suganuma is the smallest of the 3 villages in World Heritage sites in Shirakawago/Gokayama. However, that fact enhances the good old atmosphere of Japan. If you really love the rural place, Suganuma will surely be one of your best place in Japan.
This is all for now. Bye bye!