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New rules for participants of Shirakawago Light up event 2019

Currently, snow is falling in many parts of Japan and thus starts the winter season for this year. As for one of the iconic tourist attractions of Japan, Shirakawago-a world heritage site designated by UNESCO is also a must see place when visiting Japan.

For this charming village, it will hold an event called "Shirakawago Light up" for 6 days during January and February. This event is getting famous every year and has welcomed visitors from around the world for many years. However, this year the regulation to facilitate the village site and to ease the congestion from a large number of visitors plus to avoid any chaos when distributing an admission ticket or falling from observation deck.

Shirakawago Light up 2019 will be held only 6 days so anyone who is considering about coming to see this special event should not be hesitated to set their date of participations since the village is now on a strict policy to reduce the already overwhelmed visitors.

Firstly, let us introduce the background of the uniqueness of this event and why it is so popular.

On the event day, there will be spotlights that create the new aspect of each traditional thatched house of Shirakawago to become colorful house with a mixture between white snow and yellow tone from spotlights which eventually create an atmosphere that you cannot find anywhere else in Japan. (Opening of light up starts from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM)

​Light with snow falls on one of the house

​triple houses, one of the famous spot for photograph

​View from observation deck

​The table below shows the event date for 2019 :

Number Event's Date Event's Time
​                                   1 ​14 January 2019 ​17:30 - 19:30 (5:30-7:30 PM)
​                                   2​20 January 2019​​17:30 - 19:30 (5:30-7:30 PM)
​                                   3​27 January 2019​​17:30 - 19:30 (5:30-7:30 PM)
​                                   4​3 February 2019​​17:30 - 19:30 (5:30-7:30 PM)
​                                   5​11 February 2019​​17:30 - 19:30 (5:30-7:30 PM)
​                                   6​17 February 2019​​17:30 - 19:30 (5:30-7:30 PM)

Therefore, to follow with the village's regulation, any visitors who would like to participate in this light up event must register for their arrival in advance before the event takes place and village will not accepts any "walk-in visitors" in any cases and there are 4 activities that need to registered as followed:

1.Staying overnight in one of the houses in the village

2.Usage of parking lot

3.Reservation of local bus

4.Reservation of night bus from major cities of Japan

However, any visitors who wish not participates in the event but would like to visit the village during the event date is still allowed to do so but some of the village facilities will be closed earlier which are:

-Seseragi Parking Lot : A large parking lot opposite the village, visitors must cross the bridge to get access to the village. Closed at 2PM on event date.

-Observation deck closed at 3PM on event date..

-The whole village closed at 5PM and any visitors who does not registered for participating in an event will not be allowed to stay in the village

For any visitors who has already registered should be norticed that

-In case of overbook, the village reserves the right to randomly choose the visitors to participate for the event.

-For visitors who does not stay overnight in the village but would like to participate in the event must rent a car or reserve a bus via an eligible bus company which operated in Takayama, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo to secure the seat for coming in and out for the village

-For any eligible visitors, the admission ticket to gain access at the observation deck will be provided at the cost of 500 Yen per person. The bus stop which takes them on the deck is located in front to Wada House. However, the village reserves the right to cancel or change the bus schedule in case of heavy snow, storm or any circumstances that might cause unsafety to any visitors and there will be no refund policy if such circumstance happens.

-For any eligible cars or bus, they will get a special sticker that grant them to park in a village's parking lot during the event.

Cautions for visitor :

-Since the weather during the event is hold in winter so the temperature can be dropped far below 0 degree celcius (-10 C is also common during January). So preparing proper cloth for each person is a must.

-Visitors who hire a car must install a chain tire or change to snow tire only. Failure to do so might cause an accident which will heavily affect a traffic in the village.

For any visitors who would like to participate in this event but does not wish to book or manage by yourself, our company I Love Japan Tours can provide a private tour to Shirakawago incluing an access to the light up event. So please do not hesitate to contact the company if you wish a smooth and professional service from one of the most well known travel agents in Japan!

Original source from the official website of Shirakawago

Cover photo from youtube and the rest were taken from epochtime, ikidane, jpinfo, tiptoeingworld and thoughtco

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