Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the
rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their
Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and
the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched
thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. Despite
economic upheavals, the villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura and Suganuma are
outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to
the environment and people's social and economic circumstances.