2019 Shirakawago light up event
2019 Shirakawago Light-up event Q&A
- What can I do if I wrote the wrong dates and the wrong number of people?
- What can I do if I didn’t receive the confirmation letter
- What’s the difference between 3000 and 5000 parking permits?
- Can I apply for different accommodations for the same day? Can I apply for more than one days?
- Do I need to register in advance if the date I want to stay is not on the light-up day?
- Can I attend the light-up event if I stay in the village one day before the event?
- What’s the distance between the Minshuku out of village and Shirakawago? Is there any shuttle bus for pick up?
- Is it possible to refund after payment is completed?
- Why the maximum number of people staying at Minshuku is 7 people?
- How can I apply for the observation deck ticket if I have already booked the accommodation by myself?
How to apply for attending the light-up event?
- The schedule and dates of light up event
- How to attend the event?
- Can I stay overnight in the village?
- The process of registration
- How many people should I register when there are many people travel together?
- I really want to attend the light-up event, are there any tips for registering the random selection?
- Do I need to register for accommodation when it is not the light-up day?
- How can I choose the type of accommodations?
- When can I know the random selection result after register?
Please fill out the form below to contact our customer service.
If you have set restrictions to receiving emails for the email that you have registered, please be sure that your email can receive emails from”@peatix.com”, and also please check your email spam. If there are still some problem please fill out the form below to contact our customer service.
- 3000 yen, maximum 8 people/car
- 5000 yen, 9-12 people/car
Yes, you can apply multiple accommodations for more than one days. After the lottery selection, the winner will be informed of the payment method in the early September.
No, you don’t have to register when it’s not the light-up day. You can make a reservation directly, or you can also contact us, we are happy to arrange for you.
We are sorry that if you don’t apply the car parking permit or the return light-up bus in advance, it is not possible to attend the light-up event.
It takes about 15 -20 mins by car, the transportation fee is 710 yen/ one way, and the shuttle bus timetable is as below.
|平瀬 → バスターミナル
Hirase →Bus terminal
|バスターミナル → 平瀬
There are also 40 coin-lockers at the bus terminal. To save your time, we would recommend you:
- First, deposit your luggage when you arrive Shirakawago
- Check in at the Shirakawago-association. (Their office is at the bus terminal)
- Enjoy the light-up event
- Take the last shuttle bus back to accommodation after the event finish.
We are sorry it’s not refundable, please only apply the date you are available, and make sure you can attend the event before you make the payment.
Because there are only 3-4 rooms in a minshuku, due to the limited space, the maximum number of people is 7.
Please check with the owner of the accommodation you booked.
|Event Date||Light-up Time|
How to register?
From 2019 the light-up event will be reservation only.
All the activities need to be booked in advance. Without reservation, guests will be restricted to access the village. Please pay special attention to this rule.
The registration time starts from Japan time 8/15 9:00 to 8/30 23:59, please press the links below:
Yes, it is possible.
(*update on 8/1: no independent minshuku available to make a reservation for this year, the only way is to register through the Shirakawago association.)
a. Register through the Shirakawago association, registration starts from 8/15-8/30.
- Accommodation (outside the event venue・hostel・motel) / with observation deck ticket
- Accommodation (inside the event venue・Gassho house) / with observation deck ticket
- Day return parking lot / with observation deck ticket
This event will not be on a first come first serve base, elected ones will be selected randomly
b. Booking an independent minshuku.
(*update on 8/1: no independent minshuku available to make a reservation for this year)
- Tourists can register from 15th of August Japan time 9:00 to 30th of August for accommodations and parking permits.
- At the beginning of September, the association will announce the elected ones. For tourists who are not able to spend a night in the village, you can choose to stay in the near towns and cities.
- For tourists who do not have parking permits, please register for Nohi light-up bus, and the information will publish on the 1st of October on Nohi bus website. (Bus tickets are now on sale)
- If there’s someone gave up their rights, then we will have the second-round selection for accommodations and parking permit in 10th of October.
One representative for one group, you will need to fill up the names and email of all the people. Shirakawa-go association will exclude the duplicated applications and select randomly.
There are two type of parking permit you can register, 1. one is with the observation deck ticket, 2. Another one is WITHOUT the observation deck ticket. Plus, the light-up event will be two hours only, if you think it might be too rush to go to the observation deck and would like to just have a walk in the village, you can try to apply for the parking permit without the observation deck ticket. According to our evaluation, the percentage of getting the one with the observation deck ticket is 10%, but the percentage of getting the parking permit without observation deck ticket is 25%.
(Please also see Q15. How long will it take to go to the observation deck? and Q18. Is it necessary to go to the observation deck for the light-up event?)
No, you don’t have to register, you can make a reservation directly (they accept taking reservation from 3 months before).
You can select on the registration form, please note that different types of accommodations have different register web pages.
Registration starts from 8/15-8/30, and the result will publish at the beginning of September and we will e-mail to the elected ones.
Please make a reservation in advance.
in the village
|Using the parking lot||Tour bus||Public bus|
|Booking in advance||must|
|Booking methods||The association||The association||Travel agency||Bus company|
|Transportation||Bus, car||Car, taxi||Bus|
|Observation deck bus ticket||Everyone||Only the elected ones||Not available||Some quantity|
Please press the link below to register.
For the 2019 light-up event, 1,000 tourists can enter the observation deck in one day.
Due to the safety concerns, the path will be closed in winter.
Due to the limited space, the tripod is prohibited.
Can I drive on the National Route 360 on the event date?
General vehicles cannot pass through after 3 p.m.
All vehicles parking in the observation deck parking lot should leave after 3 p.m.
Base on the previous experience:
- Normal tourists would stay for 10-15 minutes
- Photographers would stay for 30-40 minutes
- Waiting for the shuttle bus takes about 5-10 minutes
- Travel time is 7 minutes
- Going down from the observation deck is 20 minutes
But it depends on the weather condition, if it’s windy, snowing or foggy, then it might take a longer time, it takes about 50 minutes to go to the observation deck. Please be aware that whether you have enough time to catch up your return tour bus.
Yes, driving in the village is prohibited, all the cars need to park before entering, therefore self-driving travelers also need to apply for the parking permit and observation deck bus ticket in advance. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. Please see the link below for registering the parking permit:
The self-drive and non-reserved travelers need to leave the village before 14:00 because the Seseragi parking lot will only open for reserved visitors. And for non-reserved travelers who come by bus the latest public bus time are as followed.
(To Takayama and Kanazawa 17:30, to Takaoka 16:50). For more details, please see the following table.
|Schedule||Self-drive travelers||Travel by bus|
|12:00||The latest entering time for non-reserved travelers (need to leave before 14:00)||Non-reserved travelers entering time|
|13:00||Travelers with parking permit can park at Terao parking lot. (But if you arrive earlier please park at the Seseragi first, and move your car to Terao after 11:30)|
|14:00||Seseragi parking lot close for non-reserved travelers.|
|15:00||The observation deck close|
|17:00||The observation deck shuttle bus start running||the Last bus for non-reserved travelers
Takaoka last bus 16:50
Takayama、Kanazawa last bus 17:30
|19:10||Last bus to the observation deck|
It’s a good chance to see different Shirakawa-go and it’s also one of the most popular place promoting by many travel agencies, also tourists come all the way to see the exact same scenery on the postcard. However, in the past few years the visitors increased a lot, so here list few points for people travel with elderly people and young children, please take these into consideration if you would like to go to the observation deck.
- It’s very cold: The average temperature at night is around 0 to -10. Besides, if it snows heavily and too windy the visibility might be poor. The observation deck becomes a dangerous place when there are too many people, it will be crowed and slippery, and the only way to get there is by bus, therefore the bus waiting time is a thing that also needs to take into consideration, it will be a long outdoor activity.
- Limited space：Due to the reason that the front edge of the observation deck is privately owned and the landowner has its own arrangement. The front edge always arranges for photographer team, therefore the best seeing points remain few only. Normal visitors need to wait for a long time for the scenery.
- It’s hard to take a photo without professional equipment: If you don’t have a high-end equipment the snow night view is hard to take. Besides, for the safety concerns tripod is prohibited, so that for the normal tourists without a professional camera and didn’t apply for photo shooting license, seeing by your eyes is more recommended.
Only the one with parking permit can park in the village, the association will email all the information to the elected ones. The registration will start on 15th to August at 9:00 to 30th of August at 23:59.
On the event day, with parking permit you can park at Terao parking lot after 13:00, but if you come earlier than 13:00 you can use Seseragi parking lot first, and then you need to move your car to Terao after 13:00, because Seseragi will close at 14:00.
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.
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.
Yes, you can. However, please register in advance and wait for the result whether you have the parking permit and please get off at the special parking lot during the light-up event.
Booking of tour buses is available at the bus companies.
If you wish to receive the latest information, please enter your basic information here.
The latest Nohi light-up bus departure time is usually after light-up event finish, for more details please see and apply at Nohi bus website, they will announce on 1st of October.
They will be open on the event dates.
However, most restaurants will be booked by groups. There may be not enough available seats for customers without booking.
Details will be sent to elected ones who have made a reservation beforehand.
The light-up places are the same as last year after publishing the result the association will email all the information to the elected ones.
Due to the reason that the number of the visitor to the light-up event has increased 80 times than before in the past few years. However, it’s just a small village with only one driveway to connect other places, so that Shirakawa-go has been called “the island in a land”, the overcrowded situation created much chaos and seriously influenced the environment quality.
Moreover, too many visitors at the observation deck would make it a dangerous place especially during winter, too many people keep squeezing to a small and slippery place might cause injury. Besides, in the past few years, the number of visitors exceeded the number of parking space, some even couldn’t enter the village after the event finished due to lack of parking spaces. We have been through many discussions before making this decision.
The rough tourist numbers a day last year is around 8000 people, which didn’t include illegal parking and no license private tourist group. This visitor number is too large to maintain the village discipline and keep everyone in safe because there are only 200 staffs. In conclusion, we hope we can decrease the number of the visitor to 4000-5000, and eliminate the inconvenience caused by too many people, the final purpose is to turn Shirakawa-go into a nice and friendly place to visit, not a disposable sightseeing spot. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Although Shirakawa-go is one of the world heritage sites, there are still many people living in this small village, and too many tourists would affect their daily life. During the light-up period, there is traffic control for the only driveway, so that it would be inconvenient for the people who live in the village to go to school, to work and purchase daily groceries etc. Therefore, there are only 6 light-up days.
Nowadays, there are only 40 accommodations remained (Minshuku and hotels) in Shirakawa-go. Among all of it, the most popular accommodations are the Gassho Zukuri Minshuku, however, the people who are running minshuku are mostly elder people who neither speak English nor use a computer, which caused a great difficulty for foreign visitors to make reservations.
Although now we can make reservations by e-mail to Shirakawa-go association, the association is not able to arrange those minshuku they didn’t cooperate. The fact is every hotel and minshuku has its own way to run business, and some of them have their suppliers that have been cooperated for decades, therefore people might get various answers if they make a reservation call by themselves. The list of minshuku who will willing to take reservation during 2019 light-up period will be ready for registration from 15th to 30th of August, the association will choose randomly and announce the result in early September.