We bet you would not have guessed that the place on earth with one of the highest annual snowfalls is in an adorable, hobbit-like village in Japan.
Shirakawa-gō, located in northeastern Japan gets an astounding 415 inches (1,054 cm) of snow a year. The ancient farming village dates back to before the 8th century, and is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Because it was located in such a remote and hard to reach part of the country, Shirakawa developed many of it’s own special traditions and cultures, like the distinctive architectural tradition of the Gassho-style farmhouses.
Built to easily shed the massive amount of snow they receive each winter, this village is both rugged, yet also inviting and adorable in nature. From photos, the snow looks dense and heavy, and we can imagine dealing with over 33 feet of snowfall each year makes these Japanese residents resilient, indeed. We’ve also included a photo of this special Japanese prefecture in summer, to show the difference a few seasons makes.