Shirakawa-go is a famous place for Gassho-style houses. It is especially famous in winter, where houses buried in snow are lit up and you can enjoy fantastic scenery. Let’s compare the scenery in winter with that in summer.
The village of Shirakawa-go is nestled in an isolated valley near the foot of sacred Mt. Hakusan. Original culture sprung up there and people continue to live traditionally even today. It is famous as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites, and is a very popular tourist spot. You can see more than 80 houses of Gassho-zukuri (a wooden house with a steep rafter roof). A visit to Shirakawa-go is to encounter an old Japan that vanished long ago. There are no railroads and you can feel how remote and peaceful life is there.
Gassho-zukuri is a house composed of two parts, a square part for the first floor, which is used for the residence, and a triangular part for the second and third floors, which were used for growing silkworms to produce silk. You will be surprised at ancient people’s cleverness when you enter Gassho-zukuri house to see the inventive structure. And you can also see why the house has a steep thatched roof — to help snow slide off it easily. There are many museums to visit and many ways to experience traditional industrial arts like dying and weaving amidst the scene of rich seasonal colors.