【 February 23, 2015 】
Both on January 15th and 16th, eight representatives from six travel agencies and two media companies in Shanghai and Dairen visited Fukushima prefecture, as a part of the project for “promoting wide-range cooperation on tourism by inviting related parties from Shanghai and Dairen,” which was conducted by Tohoku District Transport Bureau, MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) in cooperation with Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate prefectures, and Tokyo metropolitan.
In the evening on January 15th, when they arrived at a hotel in Dake-onsen, Nihonmatsu-city in the snow, we welcomed them by showing a banner with a welcome message on it. They looked pleased and were taking photos.
On the next day, January 16th, they skied and played in the snow at Adatara Ski Resort, then they painted Tsuchiyu kokeshi, a traditional craft in Tsuchiyu-onsen. Everyone painted it in their own peculiar way and shared laughter because all the Kokeshis looked like their respective painters. After that, they experienced picking strawberries at Shiki no Sato Strawberry Farm in Fukushima-city, and had a lot of strawberries as if competing in numbers. For lunch they enjoyed traditional local foods including roasted rice balls grazed with yuzu (citron)-flavored miso and dengaku-yaki (grilled tofu and vegetables with miso) at a local cuisine restaurant nearby. Then they left for the next destination, Tokyo.
Gaining a firsthand glimpse into their encouraging way of working on the experiences during the observation tour, we are able to expect that they will make plans of round trip tours from Tokyo to Tohoku region and transmit information likewise.
【 February 05, 2015 】
Both on January 11th and 12th, the representatives from six travel agencies and two media companies in Thailand visited Aizu region, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Fukushima prefecture, as a part of the project for introducing a recommended course for FIT (Foreign Independent Travel) to round Chiba and Tohoku district, which was conducted by Tohoku District Transport Bureau, MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) in cooperation with Fukushima, Chiba, Yamagata prefectures, and Sendai-city.
On January 11th, they enjoyed “Kitakata Ramen,” one of the top three ramens in Japan, and explored the town of Kitakata, then they went to Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan (Samurai school) in Aizu-Wakamatsu city and experienced zazen (Zen sitting meditation).
On January 12th, they visited the symbol of Aizu “Tsuruga-jo castle,” then enjoyed painting “Akabeko (Red cow),” the traditional craft in Aizu region. After savoring local food “Negi-soba (soba with green onion)” in Ouchijuku, they enjoyed walking in the snow-covered village, being excited at piled snow on the thatched roofs as well as the icicles hung from the roofs. The delegation moved to Inawashiro-town and enjoyed viewing hundreds of swans on the Lake Inawashiro, then visited Sekai-no-garasu-kan (the World's Glass Hall).
The participants said as follows; ”Because of the history, culture, foods, and the snowy landscapes, the destinations we visited in this tour would have to be very popular with people from Thailand, where snow never falls.” With the relaxation of visa requirements for Thai citizens, tourists from Thailand to Fukushima prefecture have increased. Furthermore, we hope this visit will help many more visitors from Thailand come to Fukushima prefecture from now on.
【 February 02, 2015 】
As part of the promotion for Educational Travel to Japan from Taiwan conducted by Japan Tourism Agency, five high school teachers and a principal from Taiwan visited Fukushima prefecture from December 12th to 14th, 2014.
On December 12th, they visited Fukushima High School in Fukushima city and exchanged views with teachers from Fukushima High School. Then a welcome reception was held at a hotel in Fukushima city, and they promoted friendship with the government and tourism related officials of Fukushima prefecture.
On December 13th, they visited the Decontamination Information Plaza in Fukushima city, and learned about the radiation from the nuclear plant accident, the latest decontamination progress in Fukushima prefecture, and other related matters. At the next destination, Aizu-Wakamatsu city, they experienced local foods, a tour of Tsurugajo-castle, and some of them even tried snow-boarding while visiting a ski resort in the area where their accommodation was located. At the hotel in the evening, a briefing session on Educational Travel to Aizu & Bandai Area was held, and they heard about how many visitors have come to the area as well as about the Experience Programs being done in the area from the perspective of Educational Travel.
On December 14th, they visited a farmhouse minshuku (guest house) in Kitakata city. Kitakata has been promoting educational travel and is building its name as “The Town of Kanji (Chinese characters)”. They enjoyed the experience of making personal seals called “Yuin.”
We hope that they share what they saw, heard and experienced during their visit Fukushima to their students and educators in Taiwan, and that educational travel to Fukushima from Taiwan will increase.
【 October 14, 2014 】
From September 19th to 20th, 2014, HANATOUR. the largest travel agency in South Korea, came to Fukushima prefecture and held a workshop on Tourism of Fukushima prefecture. After the workshop, they visited an Onsen (Hot-spring), and then some went to a golf course while others went to a sightseeing area in order to observe tourist destinations in Fukushima prefecture. We hope that they will include these destinations in Fukushima prefecture in their tours and that the visitors from South Korea will come back again to Fukushima prefecture in the days ahead.
【 October 14, 2014 】
From August 29th to 31st, 2014, Fukushima Prefecture participated in the “NATAS Holidays 2014,” travel fair in Singapore, and ran a Tohoku booth with other prefectures in Tohoku to promote tourism in the region. We also visited some related organizations the day before with the aim to gain their continued cooperation for tourism recovery in Fukushima prefecture.
Subsequently, from September 5th to 7th, we participated in “MATTA FAIR 2014,” a similar travel fair held in Malaysia, and we participated in business meetings with local travel agents in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Kota Kinabalu in order to directly promote tourism in Fukushima prefecture. It was a pleasure to know that some agents have included the destinations in Fukushima prefecture in their tour courses.
Due partly to the recent resumption of farm product imports from Fukushima prefecture to these countries, rumors seemed to have dwindled and there were many people interested in Fukushima prefecture as a destination. We are getting prepared to welcome tourists from both countries.