Shirakawa-go at Golden Week

Picture-perfect remnant of Japan's rural past

By Cathy Cawood   May 29, 2014 - 1 min read

Shirakawa-go is a little off the beaten track, but that is why this beautiful rural town has survived the twentieth century intact. The ancient thatched roof houses are still lived in, the fields are still planted every year. This means that this World Heritage Site is so much more than a museum or a tourist attraction. It is also a living, working community. I visited at Golden Week, and spring was in full force, although I just missed most of the cherry blossom.

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Cathy Cawood

Cathy Cawood @cathy.cawood

I fell in love with Japan long before I came here in 2003 to teach English, and it has proved to be a lasting romance.  I love the history, the traditional architecture, the food, the strange and sometimes ridiculous contrasts, and the beautiful countryside. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and in Kyoto for nine years, and now I live in Machida in Tokyo. I've traveled a little in Japan, but not nearly as much as I'd like to. I like traveling by train, but my favorite way to travel is bicycle.