Shirakawa-go is a sleepy village deep in the mountains. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its traditional and peculiar architectural style. I had seen pictures of it over the years and been intrigued by it, but somehow never caught the name of the village, or just as likely, always quickly forgot its name.
One day, a friend of mine told me that she was planning a weekend trip to Shirakawa-go and showed me pictures of it. Finally the connection in my brain was made. She offered to take me along. It was a warm weekend in August and this is what we saw.
From where the bus arrives, visitors cross this bridge to enter town.
The thatched roofs are extremely steep so that snow slides right off. This is useful as the region experiences heavy snowfalls. The style is called gasshō-zukuri, or prayer-hands construction.
Even small huts receive this treatment.
A good tree.
Not all buildings are kept in shape.
A couple standing in a rice field and admiring the view.
Solitary farm house.
Someone is in a good mood.
Nature reclaiming what is hers.
Into the woods.
Most traditional houses now serve as guest houses. In this one we spent the night.
This was not actually our room, but the one next to it. It had better symmetry.
Beware the bear at night.
A bath house.
Grave overlooking the fields, mountains, and a highway bridge.
Repair shop or café, not sure which.
Sun flowers and scarecrows.
Other tourists having a morning walk.