One place I’d really love to visit again is Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has farmhouses dating back 250 years.

What I love most about it is that it’s an actual working village. People live there year-round, so you get to see little kids’ bikes left out beside a historic building. I love it.

The thatched roofs are also just spectacular.

I’m getting the sense from many of my Japanese friends that old, traditionally Japanese architecture are seen as ridiculously rundown and outdated. I think maybe that’s why cities like Tokyo and its surroundings are just knocking down old, traditional buildings and putting in the vogue architecture at the time of building.

To me, that’s a shame. Traditional Japanese architecture is spectacular, and Shirakawa-go really puts that on display.

I loved wandering around the village, following the little streams running throughout it and enjoying the massive sunflowers growing alongside the thatched-roof farmhouses. It was a place to go and quietly enjoy where you were, which made it peaceful.

My dream is to visit there in the fall or winter and take about a million photos.