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JAPAN TOURISM AWARDS

ONSEN & GASTRONOMY TOURISM

Gastronomy tourism involves visiting an area to sample the local cuisine and delve deeper into the area’s history and culture. While gastronomy tourism is growing in popularity in Western countries, we in Japan provide a new take on this experience: ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism. This form of gastronomy tourism also offers tourists the opportunity to enjoy the delights of Japan’s world-class onsens (hot springs). Through this initiative, we aim to communicate the unique appeal of the onsen experience to tourists from inside and outside of Japan alike. As with sushi and ninja, we hope that the Japanese word onsen will break linguistic boundaries to become a universal word synonymous with Japan’s rich culture.

OUR OBJECTIVE

ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism enables tourists to take a stroll around an onsen resort, soak in an onsen bath and savor the culinary treats the area has to offer. Taking a leisurely stroll enables visitors to appreciate the area’s scenery and natural beauty. Boasting mouthwatering cuisine and rich cultural heritage, onsen resorts have so much more to offer than simply bathing facilities. Visitors can enjoy everything the resorts have to offer by staying overnight and exploring the area even further. We, therefore, recommend this new form of tourism to visitors from both inside and outside Japan. With this initiative, we aim to revitalize regions throughout Japan by revealing the true allure of the onsen resorts and encouraging large numbers of people to experience everything available in these resorts.

CONCEPT

Since onsen resorts perfectly capture the spirit of Japanese culture, we wanted to create a gastronomy walking tour which was based on the tours popular in Western countries but centered on the onsen experience. This initiative, therefore, develops tourism plans offering a comprehensive experience of onsen resorts. These plans see visitors strolling around the resorts to sample the local cuisine, sake (a Japanese alcoholic beverage) and confectionary, as well as appreciate the area’s natural beauty, culture and history. To make their trip even more enjoyable, visitors can stay in a resort and take the time to learn about the area’s history and enjoy the scenery. Through the creation of various tourism plans, we aim to deliver an enriching and relaxing experience to visitors in Japan’s breathtaking onsen resorts.

MAJOR INITIATIVES

ONSEN Gastronomy
Certification of and sharing of information regarding
walking courses

Certification of and sharing of information regarding courses which take people on a walk around an onsen resort designated as a national health hot spring health resort by the Ministry of the Environment to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, learn about the local history and enjoy the local food.

Forming and Developing
the Skills of
the Onsen Chevaliers

Appointment of individual members to be Onsen Chevaliers who support the operation of ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism

Collaboration with Organizations Outside of Japan

Collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in cooperation with the Japan Travel and Tourism Association to establish collaborative links with local governments outside of Japan

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

We are proud to present ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism—a new concept which will bring about dramatic strategic development in the Japanese tourism industry. Conventionally targeted at groups of tourists, travel styles and services are now undergoing a momentous shift in the direction of individual tourists. Furthermore, tourism is currently moving on from sightseeing to opportunities for a different experience, health boost, relaxation as well as self-improvement. The negative impact of stress along with super-aging on today’s society is significant. It is precisely for this reason that healthy moments of enjoyment provide a precious momentary escape from everyday life.
Through ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism, the local people in the different regions of Japan rediscover their region’s natural beauty as well as the local food, alcohol, traditional culture and scenery. These people then establish a tourism route which takes tourists on a healthy walk around the region to experience all of the aforementioned regional delights in their authentic forms. The final port of call on the route allows the tourists to recover from their pleasantly tiring walk. The spread of this kind of tourism throughout Japan will enable tourists and local people alike to achieve happiness.
If we Japanese rediscover Japan for ourselves and then introduce what Japan has to offer to tourists from around the world, the different regions will regain their confidence and witness the revitalization of their area together with tourists. Kanko, the Japanese word for tourism literally means “watching the lights of a country”. Witnessing the regional revitalization will be just like watching those lights. This is our aim. To this end, we are hoping to refine gastronomy tourism with the support and participation of many public organizations, including local governments, corporations and individuals.

ABOUT US

Outline of ONSEN & Gastronomy Tourism Association

Date of foundation October 5, 2016
Address Shiodome City Center, 1-5-2 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-7140, Japan
Secretariat ANA Strategic Research Institute Co., Ltd.
Tel:03-6733-4126
Fax:03-6735-1456
Regular members ANA Strategic Research Institute Co., Ltd./ Gurunavi, Inc,/ Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd./ Suntory Liquors Ltd./ Prince Hotels, Inc./ Bay Side Holdings, Inc./ The Yomiuri Shimbun,/ Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd. (As of September 2017)
Supporting members General member Otsuka Foods Co., Ltd./ Fujifilm Corporation,/ Tokyu Land Corporation/ AIRDO CO., Ltd./
Local Government Member Teshikaga, Hokkaido/ Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture/ Odate, Akita Prefecture/ Niigata, Niigata Prefecture/ Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture/ Gero, Gifu Prefecture/ Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture/ Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture/ Beppu, Oita Prefecture/ Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture/ Kami-Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture/ Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture/ Onsen Capital Oita (As of September 2017)