Japan singles out five tourism promotion areas with unique farming and food features


The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry picked five areas in the country with unique farming and food cultures to promote to foreign tourists.

The first batch of designated model areas are Tokachi in Hokkaido, Hiraizumi near Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture, Maze in Gifu Prefecture, and Nishi-Awa in Tokushima Prefecture.

The ministry plans to run TV commercials and take other measures in Taiwan, the Unites States and France to pitch those areas because they are expected to generate more visitors to Japan, officials said.

The five were picked Friday after the ministry screened applications from 44 areas in 28 prefectures between June and July. The were chosen based on the feasibility of their tourism plans, organizational ability to carry them out, and the uniqueness of their farming and food traditions.

The ministry hopes to designate at least one model area in all of the nation’s 47 prefectures in the next five years, the officials said.