Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute, located in the world heritage site Shirakawa-Go, was opened in 2005 with the goal of widely promoting locally rooted environmental education valuing nature’s inherent wisdom.
Located in rich nature at the foot of Hakusan (Mt. Haku), the Institute provides many adults and children visiting Shirakawa-Go with hands-on nature programs as well as working on ecosystem surveys of wildlife, along with forest conservation activities.
In 2015, to commemorate the institute’s 10th anniversary, we enhanced the hand-on nature programs under the slogan, “Trail walking for adults. Forest play helps kids grow stronger.” The Institute aims to provide opportunities and education to enable individuals to understand and take action on their own initiative through shared education that enhances growing and learning together toward living in harmony with nature. There is a special emphasis on “Children’s camp” that nurtures children’s environmental awareness, self-reliance, and ability to take action.
In FY2016, Shirakawa-Go hosted a total of 15 children’s camps with six different camp themes. The number of participants reached 243 children, compared with 101 in the previous year, attesting to the participants’ strong interest.
The total number of people staying overnight at Shirakawa-Go in FY2016 was 16,529, and the number of people who participated in institute programs during the year was 12,336. Since opening in 2005, the institute has welcomed more than 190,000 visitors.
Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute will continue to develop new hands-on nature programs to nurture an awareness of living in harmony with nature among a growing number of adults and children.