Shirakawa is located in a remote, snowy, mountainous region of the Japan Alps that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time. Shirakawago is famous for its old farmhouses, which were added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites in 1995 as an example of traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environmental, social and economic circumstances. The large farm houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs resemble two hands folded in prayer – gassho zukuri. The massive construction is required for the houses to withstand the large amounts of snow falling in the region during winter.
Shirakawago makes a good stop over on the bus journey between Takayama and Kanazawa. If time permits, an overnight stay at one of the farmhouses, is strongly recommended.

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