Near the old Japanese village mill with its turning wooden water-wheel . . .
. . . there was a small wayside shrine on the path. When I peeked inside . . .
. . . I found that some kind soul had outfitted the Buddha with a warm knitted coat and hat to fend off the winter's chill!
And there was a second surprise in Shirakawa-go for those who took the time to snoop around. Despite this village's dedication to protecting and preserving an ancient way of life, I discovered this tucked away at the back of the gift store -- a big honkin' shiny modern riding snowblower!
[All photos by Debra She Who Seeks]