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Photographer's Note

The tiny, secluded village of Shirakawa-go, nestled deep in the snowy mountains of northern Gifu Prefecture was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. What makes this sleepy little village special is that the buildings are mainly comprised of historic gasso-zukuri style houses. These houses withstand the rigours of heavy snowfalls year after year but need to be replaced quite often. It is said that the roof structures need to be replaced every 2 years; meaning that it's all hands on deck as the community gathers around to help with the replacement. Im sure that it becomes a true spectacle with the entire town participating in replacing each roof as needed for buildings with sizes upwards of 15 metres long x 10 metres wide and accomodating of several large families within.

On this particlar evening with the town ablaze in tourists, one lone lady clambers up to the counter for some refuge of the bitter cold outside. Finding such an establishment with an open seat on this night is a treasure indeed. She nestles up to the counter, taking in the warmth from the broth before her; forgetting for a second the biting cold outside. She is oblivious to the peering eyes of patrons outside as the catch the small glimpse of her; absorbed by her sliver of warmth as the wait their turn.

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Additional Photos by Brendon Hicks (Brendon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 81 W: 9 N: 61] (289)
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