Snowy wonderland of Shirakawa-go

Snow fell intermittently on the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture throughout January. In Shirakawa-go, a village with about 100 traditional gassho-zukuri thatched roof houses, around 30 centimeters of snow accumulated on the rooftops. These houses are designed to withstand the heavy snowfall that occurs in the area, with steeply sloping roofs that allow the snow to slide off, ensuring they don't collapse. Every 40-50 years, the villagers work together to refurbish all the thatched roofs. The distinct architecture and culture of Shirakawa-go, along with the nearby Gokayama in Toyama Prefecture, was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

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