Hitoshi Shirota (代田 仁) is a talented japanese photographer from Yokohama.
The Hokkoku Kaidō (北国街道, Hokkoku Kaidō?) was a highway in Japan during the Edo period. It was a secondary route, ranked below the Edo Five Routes in importance. Because it was developed for travelers going to Zenkō-ji, it was also called Zenkō-ji Kaidō (善光寺街道). It stretched from the Nakasendō‘s Oiwake-juku to the Hokurikudō‘s Takada-shuku. Nowadays, the route is traced by Route 18, stretching between the town of Karuizawa and the city of Jōetsu. (Wikipedia)
Unno-shuku was once a post town nestled in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture. Buildings include inns built more than 100 years ago, private houses with thatched roofs, and silkworm nurseries that were set up when sericulture was a thriving business. These buildings blend to create a traditional townscape. Houses in the town are equipped with a unique device known as an udatsu (a short pillar supporting the roof) to prevent fire from spreading to neighboring houses. Older buildings have pushed-out eaves on the second floor, with a hon-udatsu (main udatsu). Comparatively newer buildings have sode-udatsu, which are elaborate in both design and decoration. These two different types of udatsu clearly show the difference styles of different eras. (http://www.jinto.go.jp)