The Most Breathtakingly Beautiful Small Towns

1. Shirakawa-go, Japan  During wintertime, the isolated Shirakawa-go looks like the platonic ideal of an alpine Christmas village set along a cold, clear river, isolated atop a mountain. Get closer, and you’ll see what at first glance looks like gingerbread houses are actually thatched-roof gassho-zukuri buildings. These structures—whose pitched roofs are three-foot piles of woven reeds, … Read more