Updated: November 07, 2018
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Shirakawago's Light-Up Event Will Change In 2019!


In the winter, tourists from Japan and even from overseas come to visit the increasingly popular light-up event in Shirakawago. However, as of 2019, the event will change a great deal as it will become subscription only.

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Shirakawago's Light-Up Event

January 14th, 20th, 27th & February 3rd, 11th and 17th 2019

Inside Ogichou Village in Shirakawago

Tourists will now have to subscribe to attend the light-up in Shirakawago in winter. People are suggested to reserve before-hand as you might be turned away if you show up the same day.

As of 2019, the people in charge decided to implement a lottery-type reservation system as a test.

1. The reason for the change

Shirakawago is a World Heritage site which attracts 1.7 million tourists from all over the world. During the especially popular light-up event, up to 8,000 tourists come to visit the village. However, this greatly exceeds the village's capacity and has caused some problems in the previous years.

In the village, authorities have even proposed to stop the event altogether. But, as they thought about the tourists who look forward to this beautiful event, they wanted to find another solution. From next year, they decided to try out the lottery-type reservation system.

2. A reservation system

Due to a recent surge of tourists, there have been some problems occurring on the site. To deal with this, in 2017, multi-lingual staff have been hired, shuttle bus tickets have been distributed, etc., however, there were still some problems on-site.

The solution was then to implement a reservation system as of 2019. From the observation point, only 1700 people will be allowed, and 580 people inside the village.

It is believed that this method should help facilitate the flow of tourists during that period.

Please refer to the Shirakawago Tourism Association for further information (link below).

3. The aim

Before Shirakawago became a World Heritage site, it was merely a small village with very few tourists. However, the number of tourists from all over the world has exploded and locals are not used to this type of flow. The aim of the reservation system is to go back to their roots and become a hospitable village again with a quieter and more authentic charm.
Lili Wanderlust
I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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