The people of the Shirakawa-go Valley adapted their way of life to their isolated surroundings, combatting the isolation of their villages with a system of mutual cooperation between neighbouring families. Gassho-zukuri are traditional three- or four-storey wooden houses that could accommodate several generations of the same family. Nowadays, tourism has overtaken the former mainstays of farming and washi paper production as their main industry. Don't pass up the opportunity to spend the night in one of the farmhouses and share some time with the inhabitants who lead their lives in this unique way.
©Christian Kober/John Warburton-Lee/Photononstop