#35 Shirakawago in the Japanese Alps
Japan is littered with historic cities, towns and villages lost in time, home to architectural styles that could only be from this furthest east of Asian countries. But Shirakawago on first view, looks more like a fairytale town from a Disney movie than anything Japanese.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Shogawa river valley, nestled between a dramatic and hard to reach mountain landscape, the roofs of the houses in the village, known as “gassho-zukuri,” are shaped like hands in prayer. Mostly farm houses and all built from wood, some dating back centuries, they are covered in thick thatch roofs designed to hold off thick snowfall in winter.