If last weekend’s scorching temperatures were enough to make you want to pack up and embark on a winter adventure, we can’t say we blame you. And if you’re thinking snow, we say go big or go home.
The quaint Japanese village of Shirakawa-go – which translates to “White River Village” – sees an average of 10m of snow every year, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of a three-storey building.
The mass snowfall is a result of warm weather patterns, which blow from Siberia across the warm Japanese Sea, creating clouds with tonnes of moisture. When the clouds travel to the higher elevations of the Japanese Alps, they dump out all the precipitation they’ve been carrying along the way in the form of huge blankets of snow.
What may sound a little scary, actually makes for a truly spectacular landscape.
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed village is pretty quiet throughout the year. It’s surrounded by mountains on all sides and contains just 114 huts belonging to residents or for visitors to rent, some of which date back more than 250 years.
Some Shirakawa-go’s oldest abodes, designed with thatched roofs to withhold the heavy snowfall, have been given face lifts, repurposed as museums, restaurants and guest houses for visitors.
Did someone say winter getaway?
(Lead Image: Pelican / Flickr)