Source: shinohal via Wikimedia Commons Why This Picturesque Japanese Village Looks Just Like a Swiss Christmas Card 2018-01-25 Thu 2018-01-25 Thu If you look at this photo and think it doesn’t look like anywhere else in Japan, you’d be right. Shirakawa-Go, a mountain settlement in Gifu prefecture, was once considered an unexplored region. The treacherous mountains and snowfall restricted outside interaction, preserving the unique cultural practices and lifestyles. Shirakawa go 白川郷さん(@shirakawa_go)がシェアした投稿 - 1月 24, 2016 at 9:08午後 PST The village was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical farmhouses, some of which are over 250 years old. Shirakawa go 白川郷さん(@shirakawa_go)がシェアした投稿 - 3月 22, 2017 at 11:39午後 PDT The striking sloped thatched roofs are called 'gasshozukuri', which means 'constructed like hands in prayer', in reference to the similarity to Buddhist monks' hands while praying. These roofs can withstand the weight of the heavy snowfall expected each year. Another feature which gives the houses the cosy-looking winter atmosphere, is that the windows are built high up in the roof, originally to accommodate the silk worms that were often housed in the attics for silk production. According to the region's website, the remote village was first brought to overseas attention by German architect and scholar, Bruno Taut. The characteristics of the townhouses which were so different to other Japanese architecture caused him to remark, “This landscape is not Japanese. At least it is scenery the like of which I have not seen here before. This is surely Switzerland, or otherwise an illusion of Switzerland” Shirakawa go 白川郷さん(@shirakawa_go)がシェアした投稿 - 12月 20, 2015 at 8:09午後 PST The inhabitants of this village still live ordinary lives there, and the coolest thing about Shirakawa-Go is that you can too for a few days. Some of the traditional houses are now guest houses which can be booked by visitors. Shirakawa go 白川郷さん(@shirakawa_go)がシェアした投稿 - 10月 4, 2017 at 8:25午後 PDT Despite being beautiful all year round and enjoying the same seasonal fixtures as the rest of Japan (i.e. cherry blossom and autumn foliage), it’s Shirakawa-Go’s winter which has become iconic. The charming snowy landscape and traditional houses are such a draw for tourists that they even light them up during this period. The 'light up' only happens on certain days, so be sure to check before you travel! Shirakawa go 白川郷さん(@shirakawa_go)がシェアした投稿 - 12月 28, 2017 at 2:03午前 PST But in order to witness these enchanting scenes, visitors must brave punishingly cold weather, far below freezing. The roads will also be icy, and Shirakawa-Go's website contains safety advice as well as manners you should abide by while in the town. But for those who adore snowscapes, these guidelines should be easy to follow and no obstacle to seeing this winter wonderland! Website By - grape Japan editorial staff. Source:Shirakawa-Go / shirakawa_go Tags: Countryside / Gifu / Instagram / Landscape / Seasonal / Shirakawa-Go / Snow / Traditional / Winter grape Japan Culture Why This Picturesque Japanese Village Looks Just Like a Swiss Christmas Card Related Article Warm yourself up with these Top Japanese Benri Goods-Convenient Items for winter Starbucks Japan Exclusive Winter ‘You Are Here’ Mugs Depict Snowy Mount Fuji Sip Coffee On Tatami Mats Inside A Century-Old Building At Kyoto’s Traditionally Japanese Starbucks Kyoto Brand Reveals 2016 Winter Collection For Modern Kimono Wear These Two Cats Have A Wonderful Relationship With Their Window Washer Miku The Shiba Inu Is The Fastest Food Catcher In The East, Paws Down!