Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute, located at the Shirakawa-Go world heritage site, opened in 2005 with the goal of widely promoting locally rooted environmental education valuing nature’s inherent wisdom.
The concept of “living in harmony” is central to the Institute, which is located in rich nature at the foot of Hakusan (Mt. Haku), and which 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 hands-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 FY2017, the Old-Growth Forest Insect Survey Camp and Hakusan Outdoor Journey camp programs for junior high school students were added. A total of eight camp programs were conducted, drawing 353 participants.
The total number of people staying overnight at Shirakawa-Go in FY2018 was 16,718, and 13,046 people participated in institute programs during the year. Since opening in 2005, the institute has welcomed more than 209,000 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.