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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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.