One of my Japan's wish list checked.
Shirakawago is a UNESCO world heritage site famous for their traditional gassho-zukkuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukkuri means 'constructed like hands in prayer', as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands pressed together in prayer. The reason for this is to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter.
So naturally I wanted to visit this village in winter to see it covered with snow.
It's a fairly small village, you could probably see everything in 2-3 hours.
But I've read news that winter in Japan is unusually warmer this year. Less snow even in Hokkaido.
How to go there
During the trip, I stayed in Takayama for a few nights. Visited Shirakawago from Takayama with the Winter Illumination Tour by Nohi bus. Else, check here if you plan to come from Tokyo.