In the shadow of the sacred mountain Hakusan, OGIMACHI (荻町) is home to 114 gasshō-zukuri houses, the largest collection within the Shirakawa-gō area of the Shō-kawa valley. Many of the thatched houses were moved here when threatened by the damming of the Shō-kawa, and this makes for rather a contrived scene, not helped by the major road that cuts through its centre, bringing a daily overdose of tourists. Even so, this is a real village, populated by families living in most of these houses, farming rice and other crops in the surrounding fields.