Hostels and Cheap Places to stay in Gokayama, Japan

Hold on, finding you the best prices right now...


Get to know Gokayama (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Gokayama. To help you make friends with Gokayama before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

The ancient region of Gokayama showcases a traditional culture and lifestyle that has been preserved for hundreds of years, thanks to the area’s secluded location in southeastern Toyama, Japan, near the upper reaches of the Shogawa river. The area has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, primarily due to the remarkable architectural style of the traditional gassho-zukuri houses.

Most of these houses are hundreds of years old, and feature unique pitched roofs with a slope of nearly 60 degrees – forming houses shaped almost into equilateral triangles. The steep roofs, which prevent the build-up of snow, are supported by sturdy oak beams, called chonabari. These can be found in two settlements within Gokayama, Ainokura and Suganuma.

The name Gokayama means “Five Valleys,” referring to the spectacular terrain within this region. Locals believe the area was given the name because there was a village among the five valleys along the river – Akao-dani, Kami-Nashi-dani, Shimo-Nashi-dani, Otani, and Toga-dani.

There are hostels and hotels here, but it is quite remote. The nearest larger city is Takaoka, and many tourists looking to visit Goyakama find accommodations in a hotel or hostel there. However, there are some rental properties and guesthouses in this area for visitors.

Many of these local properties as gassho structures, and will provide guests with dinner and breakfast. Most dinners will be traditional Japanese dishes, primarily made with river fish and mountain vegetables, and your sleeping quarters will be either a futon or a tatami mat.

This area is somewhat inaccessible, making it difficult for travelers to get in and out of Goyakama. However, you can reach Takaoka either by rail or by bus, from the airports in Tokyo and Osaka. To get to a hostel or hotel in Goyakama, you’ll need to take a bus or taxi from there.

Written by local enthusiast for Gokayama hostels

Written by local enthusiast for Gokayama hostels Jakob Lombardi

Your Packing List for Gokayama

Your Packing List for Gokayama

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Gokayama and Japan.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Other Nearby Cities

Kanazawa (32 Km / 20 mi.)
Takaoka (41 Km / 25 mi.)
Takayama (44 Km / 28 mi.)
Gifu Prefecture (71 Km / 44 mi.)
Gero (74 Km / 46 mi.)
Fukui (85 Km / 53 mi.)
Hakuba (93 Km / 58 mi.)

Travel Tips for Gokayama - from the Community

Oh man, so far no one from the community has left a comment or travel tips for Gokayama. How about you kick start the discussion here? Gather your best backpacking recommendations for Gokayama and jot them down below. The community thanks you.

Gokayama comments only. Don't discuss the hostels here, post a review on the hostel's page instead.

Unlock your Hostel Account to Freedom!

Unlock your Hostel Account to Freedom!

Sign up with and get access to exclusive hostel content and much more.

Do you already have an account? Login
Home Wishlists Login