Fantastic news!! Shirakawa-go been selected as one of the “Best Tourism Villages” in 2023, recently announced at the United Nations Tourism General Assembly held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 19th October 2023 (Thursday), joining local regions like Hokkaido’s Niseko and Kyoto’s Miyama selected in 2021. A total of 54 villages from regions worldwide were selected from almost 260 applications.

This initiative is part of a programme aiming to encourage sustainable practices, development, inclusion in rural areas and more. Villages were successfully chosen based on nine criteria which includes economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Tucked away in the mountainous region of Gifu’s northwest with one of the highest amounts of snowfall in the country, Shirakawa-go’s unique gassho-zukuri houses and fairytale-like landscapes have been an immensely popular place for tourists to see and experience more of the Japan of old. Despite its high number of yearly visitors, its community has successfully worked together in implementing measures to curb overtourism, and maintain their traditional way of life in harmony with their natural surroundings. With accolades like UNESCO World Heritage Site (Cultural Heritage) in 1995, and Green Destination’s ‘Top 100 Sustainable Destinations’ in 2020, Shirakawa-go has once more gained international recognition for their dedication and commitment to sustainability.

Why not make a trip soon to see and experience this magical place for yourself? Speaking of magical, look forward to an update on a special local event that’s coming up very soon!

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