2018-07-01 at 12:00 PM

Light-up Event in Shirakawago in 2019



  1. Change of important information
  2. Reasons of limited access
  3. Event Dates
  4. Participation methods
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. For guests who hope to receive newest information
  7. Enquiry Form

Change of important information

The regulations of the light-up event will have great changes starting from 2019.

Thank you for visiting the Shirakawa-go Tourist Association website.
We appreciate for your love to the Shirakawa-go scenery and the light-up event. Thanks for everyone’s support; we are able to last till today.

Starting from next year, the regulations of the light-up event will have great changes. Please read this page very carefully.

The number of tourists entering Shirakawa-go will be limited in the up-coming events. Please pay attention to the following two changes.

① Only vehicles with parking permits will be allowed to park inside the parking area.

Vehicles without parking permits will not be authorized to park inside the parking area for any reasons.

② Shuttle bus tickets to the observation deck must be booked in advance.

The shuttle bus is the only way to travel to the observation deck during the light-up event.
To know how to buy the ticket, please refer to Participation methods

If the amount of applications exceeds the availability, random selection will be used.
Only the elected ones will be given parking permits/ shuttle bus tickets.

The light-up event will be held in a total of 5 venues in the village. Tourists can join the event in places other than the observation deck.

General sight-seeing without joining the light-up event

※ For guests who did not make a booking to the light-up event in advance

* The facilities below will be closed at the following time on the event dates.
2 p.m.: Seseragi Parking Lot
3 p.m.: The Observation Deck

【Micro Bus】
Same as last year, micro bus can park in “Seseragi Parking Lot” until 5 p.m.

Reasons of limited access

  • To ease the congestion during the events
  • To avoid tourists from falling down the observation deck and to prevent any conflict caused
  • To avoid any chaos while distributing the admission tickets

What cheers us up most is that,
more and more tourists came to visit Shirakawa-go from all around the world in a short period of time.
That is why the number of vehicles entering Shirakawa-go greatly exceeds the number of parking lots in the village. Serious traffic congestions occurred during the event dates.
Moreover, some tourists even could not enter the village after the light-up event due to lack of parking spaces.

As the highway towards the village is one-way,
inconvenience is caused to all the tourists, guests, buses, tour buses, and even to the locals.

There were also problems when distributing the admission tickets .
For example, some guests waited too long before getting an admission ticket.
Some tourists could not get a ticket even though they have already queued for a long period of time.

These situations actually happened during previous events.
In order to change the current situation, we have reflected on ourselves many times.
We decided that all activities will be changed to reservation system starting from 2019.
Thank you for your understanding.

Event Dates

The 2019 light-up events will be held six times.

Times Event Dates Light-up Time
1st 1/14(Mon) 17:30 – 19:30
2nd 1/20 (Sun)
3rd 1/27 (Sun)
4th 2/3 (Sun)
5th 2/11(Mon)
6th 2/17 (Sun)

*1/14, 2/11 are public holidays.

Participation methods

As mentioned above, reservation system will be used on all the activities starting from 2019.
All of the activities needed to be booked in advance. Without reservation, guests will be restricted to access the village. Please pay special attention to this rule.

The information of the booking system will be released in Mid-August (10/8 – 20/8) on this website.
If you wish to receive the newest information from us, please contact us through the enquiry form below.

Please refer to the form below about how to register the following 4 activities.

Spend a night in the village Using the parking lot Tour Bus Bus
Booking in advance Must
Booking Methods Association / by yourself Association Travel Agencies Bus Companies
Transportation Bus, Car Car, Taxi Bus
Observation deck shuttle bus tickets Everyone Only the elected ones Nothing Some quantites

① Guests who would like to spend a night in the village

a. Register through the tourists association

Registration will be started from Mid-August.
The information will be posted on the website in Mid-August.

This event will not be on a first come first serve base, elected ones will be selected randomly.

b. Booking an independent hostel

The list of available hostels will be uploaded to the website at the beginning of Aug.
Booking will not be available before the above timeslot.

* All the guests who stay overnight are allowed to park their cars at specific parking lots.
It is not necessary to follow rule ② below.

② Day return self-driving guests using the parking lot

The same as ①, registration will be started from Mid-August.

This event will not be on a first come first serve base, elected ones will be selected randomly.

Parking: 3,000円 / car (Maximum 8 passengers,9 -12 passengers: 5,000円 / car)
Observation deck shuttle bus tickets: 1,000円 / person

*Only tourists with observation deck shuttle bus tickets can enter the observation deck. Elected ones will be selected randomly.
*Please pay all the fees by credit cards on the internet in advance.
Elected ones will receive emails from the association.

③Guests who wish to visit the village by tour bus

Please join the tours organized by travel agencies.
We are not able to know the booking situation of different travel agencies,
Please check the keywords: “Shirakawa-go Light-up Tours”, etc. on your own.

④Guests who wish to visit the village by bus

The registration of different bus companies will start later. 
The information will be posted later (not fix the detail date).

Frequently Asked Questions

About the event schedule and time

How can I be able to join the light-up event?

Starting from 2019, all tourists need to make reservations in advance no matter what transportation methods they use to access Shirakawa-go. After the light-up event has started, there will be no public authorities to handle bookings. Please make sure to reserve what you need at the homepage beforehand. 
Please check the homepage for detailed information.

Is it possible to stay overnight in the village on the event date?

If I am not able to stay overnight, is there any other ways to participate in the light-up event?

You can come by car or tour bus. If you wish to come by bus, please make a booking in advance Starting from 2019, tourists need to book the transportation method they use before they visit the village. No access is allowed for tourists without reservation.

About the temperature and clothes

The temperature during the light-up event will be about -10 〜 0℃. Please come with your winter wear and anti-skid boots.

About the observation deck, how to visit the observation deck?

Please make a reservation in advance.
Click here for more details.

How can I get a observation bus ticket on the event date?

Please make a reservation in advance.
Click here for more details.

About equipping snow tires

Please equip your car with studless winter tire before coming to Shirakawa-go. It is better for you to come with a four-wheel car.

Other than in the parking lot, where else can I get on/off my car?

You can only get on/off your car inside the parking lot. Police will be patrolling around the village during the event. Vehicles that are against the laws will be charged.

Can I visit the village by taxi?

Yes, you can. However, please get off at the special parking lot during the light-up event. Please pay the same parking fee as other vehicles.

For guests who hope to receive newest information

Thank you for visiting the homepage of the Shirakawa-go Tourist Association. The schedule of the 2019 light-up event has already been set. Starting from next year, only guests who have made reservations in advance can access the village.

The bookings of hostel and use of the day return parking lot will start from Mid-August 2018. If you wish to recieve the details of the reservation procedures. please fill in you personal information below.

Personal information input field
What kind of information about the light-up event would you like to know?

Questionnaire 1 (You can choose more than one)

The information here will be for reference only. It cannot be used for booking any activities of the event.

Enquiry Form

Question for light up event in 2019

Personal information input field
1/14(Mon) 1/20 (Sun) 1/27 (Sun) 2/3 (Sun) 2/11(Mon) 2/17 (Sun)
At Ogi-machi in Shirakawago