We descended on this little mountain village with round about 5000 (?) other tourists for the day. Let’s just say it got a bit crowded at times, as both morning and afternoon tours flooded in by the busload. Well, couldn’t blame them. You get very trigger-happy in a place like this, with such a gorgeous setting and interesting old houses. Due to their mountain location, these villages were cut off from the rest of the world for a long time, preserving the lifestyle and buildings. But now only around 190 of these old Gassho-style houses remain, as many of them were lost due to fire, flooding to build dams, or were modernized, losing their character. The houses are built out of wood, bamboo, rope, and grass, not a nail in sight and they can withstand piles of heavy snow. In the high pitched roofs, the people reared silkworms. This world heritage site is gorgeous, even more so because of the open spaces (by Japanese standards) and surrounding mountains, calling you for a long hike. Enjoy.