One of the things I liked best about my time spent in Japan in college was traveling through the breathtakingly beautiful countryside and mountain villages that seemed frozen in time.

The Shirakawa-go region in the Shogawa River Valley, pictured above, is famous for their traditional farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Called gassho-zujuri, these homes are built to withstand large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region in the winter, and the sloping roofs provide a large attic space for cultivating silkworms. What a beautiful sight at dusk! Source: Miyamoto Y