A day in Shirakawa, Japan
Shirakawa is a village located in Ōno District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. It is best known for being the site of Shirakawa-gō, a small, traditional village showcasing a building style known as gasshō-zukuri. Together with Gokayama in Nanto, Toyama, it is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
They are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer", as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.
I spent a day walking around the village, enjoying all the beautiful houses. I had a chance to visit one inside, which was tuned into a museum. Luckily it’s snowed the day before and today weather was sunny. Finished the visit with a delicious lunch at one of the Onsen places before moving on to the Gokayama later in the afternoon.