SHIRAKAWA, Gifu Prefecture--Snow chaos may have been predicted for Tokyo on Jan. 22, but it was a different story in the UNESCO World Heritage village here, where the white stuff created a picture of calm.

Enchanting “gassho-zukuri” steep thatched-roof houses glowed in the snow as the village’s annual illumination event started on Jan. 21.

As many sightseers have been visiting the Shirakawa-go district in recent years, the number of people allowed to enter the popular tourist spot, Ogimachi Castle Observatory Deck, has been limited to 900 a day.

Visitors staying at accommodations in the traditional village have priority to use the observatory and are given numbered tickets costing 500 yen ($4.50) each.

The illumination event is scheduled for three more dates, Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.