Andernach - From Krahnenberg, Germany
Shirakawa-go is a charming mountain village located in the heart of Gifu Prefecture, Japan. It is well known for its thatched-roof gassho-zukuri style farmhouses built in a unique architectural style to withstand heavy snowfalls. The villagers left Shirakawa-go in 1975 to move to urban areas so the village has been carefully maintained and restored for tourists since then. Nowadays, many of the original buildings remain, but some have also been rebuilt according to the original designs. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Exploring the traditional village gives one an insight into Japan’s past, and it is a great place to admire the unique traditional buildings and gain an appreciation of the harsh environment of mountain valleys. There are many nice mountain trails and hiking paths in the area, as well as other tourist attractions such as the stunningly beautiful Ogimachi Castle and Chureito Pagoda.