The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-gô lies at the base of Hakusan in Gifu prefecture, and it is, in my opinion, the most stunning piece of the Hokuriku winter landscape. The village, once quite isolated from the rest of the area, is famous for its unique architecture of gasshô-zukuri (合掌造り), thatched-roof constructions with steep, triangular roofs shaped, as the name indicates, like hands in prayer.
If you’ve never been to Shirakawa-go, photographer Somese Naoto and the Shirakawa-gô Tourist Association have brought it to your computer screen with six breathtaking 360° Gigapixel photographs of the village and its historic homes in “World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō (360°/Gigapixel)” on nippon.com. Gigapixel photographs are composed of 50-1000 digital photographs, making the photos extremely realistic and detailed. You can zoom in on details; utilize the 360° view and you’ll feel as if you were walking around in the village itself. If you scroll down, there’s a brief history of the area as well as information on how view the photos.
I’m particularly fond of the photo of the attic of the Wada House. What’s your favorite?