Project Reports

Vol.4: Projects looking at Tourism – Shirakawago and Overtourism

In the past few years, local areas in Japan have seen a large increase in visitors, leading to a large problem of Overtourism. 

With this project, the aim was to help resolve some of the problems that arose with this overtourism in the World Heritage Site of Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture.


Project to combat Overtourism

■Project Outline
・Project Title:Creating a community made guidebook for the Shirakawa-go Light-Up Event!

・Project Creator: Tabi Job

・Target:1,000,000 Yen

・Money Raised:1,034,500 Yen(103.45%)

・Days until goal reached:20 Days

・Number of Backers: 93

・Type of Project:All or Nothing


This project took on the massive problem that faces local areas in Japan, Overtourism. With Shirakawago being a hot spot for tourists due to its UNESCO status, it sees amazing numbers of visitors especially during the light up period.

One big problem that occurs during this Light up Period, is that the vast majority of guests don’t understand Japanese, and this affects how they act in the area. Not following Japanese rules for the road, or entering areas that they shouldn’t, the Tourist Association felt the need to try and solve this massive problem.

In order to combat this, the project was to create a guidebook that would allow for them to bridge this gap in communication that would also provide support to the visitors in their own language! It was a massive success and the guidebook could be found all over the area!

Main Point

The guidebook was a fantastic return to offer to those that wished to experience the area. By giving the backers something that will be a benefit, it lowers the entrypoint for the backers, making them more willing to help your project.  

In order to maintain this area as a lasting tourist destination, it is necessary to face these overtourism issues. In addition to the Shirakawago area, there may be other areas that could benefit from an increase in foreign tourists, but are facing similar challenges.

This project was an example of successful fundraising that attracted the public interest with the power of crowdfunding in order to maintain a good balance between development and protection as a tourist destination.

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