Shirakawa-go is a Shogawa river basin in Gifu Prefecture. The Gassho-zukuri (thatch-roofed housing) settlement gives the basin atypical scenery.
In 1976 it was designated an important preservation district of historical buildings by the Minister of Education，Culture，Sports，Science and Technology.
In 1995，along with Mt. Gokayama，it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the Historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama，leading to even more fame.
Shirakawa-go is actively preserved by the World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go Gassho-zukuri Hozon-zaidan.
The Gassho-zukuri (thatch-roofed houses) in the Shirakawa region differentiates itself from other regions in that it is a Kirizuma-Gassho-zukuri where both ends of the roof form triangles. It is believed that the roofs were designed this way as to prevent the roof from breaking under the weight of the piling snow during winter.
It is lit-up at night during January and February every year.
The sight of the white snow piled up on the thatched roofs amid the darkness of night is a fascinating sight and gives off a completely different atmosphere from the day.