Shirakawa-go

Gene Khor

Sep 28, 2017

Shirakawa-go in the Gifu Prefecture is a village (together with Gokayama in the southern part of Toyama Prefecture) designated as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to the presence of thatched- and steep-roofed gassho-zukuri houses.

The villages are among a limited number of heavy-snow areas in Japan and traditional gassho-zukuri houses have miraculously remained here due to delays in road improvement construction.

A feature of the houses is the steep roof (of 45 degree to 60 degree), and the structure is called gassho zukuri because the houses resemble palms placed together and fingers pointing upward in prayer. No nails or other metal materials are used.

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