If you think the Northeast has been experiencing a lot of snow, you should take a trip over to the mountain village of Shirakawa-go, which translates as “White River Village.” While the U.S. experiences “lake effect” snow, this quaint village competes with something more appropriately deemed “ocean effect” snow.
Sweeping across the Sea of Japan, weather patterns from Siberia aid in the formation of clouds that contain a lot of moisture. As they travel up into the the higher altitudes of the Japanese Alps, they release all of their moisture to create the winter wonderland that is Shirakawa-go.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the village records an average of 415 inches (35 feet) of snowfall every year.
The village is comprised of 114 huts. Their thatched roofs were strategically designed to withstand heavy amounts of snow, while some were even built almost 250 years ago. If you fancy a visit, some of them have been transformed into museums, restaurants and guest houses.