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Photographer's Note

Shirakawa-gō is a historic village in Gifu. Together with Gokayama in Toyama, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 9, 1995.

The remote mountain villages of gassho-style houses in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama on the Hida Highlands were registered as cultural heritage sites in 1995. The scenery of the mountain villages blending in with the nature of each season - fresh green leaves in spring, tinted leaves in autumn, winter snow - and the atmosphere of the villages with traditional houses standing side by side looks just like a fairy tale.
Houses built in the "gassho style" are defined as having a roof in the shape of a triangle, similar to hands folded in prayer. In the multilayer structure, the 3rd and 4th floors are particularly characteristic as they demonstrate the wisdom of the farmers who are able to raise silkworms even in the harsh winters. The area for the silkworms is up in the attic where the heat from the first floor, filled with people and activity, rises up. The roof has an impressive slope of 60° to allow the heavy snow (sometimes as much as 4 meters) to slide off more easily.

The roofs can support even 2 m of snow!!

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4989 W: 81 N: 12591] (73877)
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