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Showing posts from February, 2012

Guest Speaker at Japan Intercultural Academy of Municipalities seminar

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau was a guest speaker at seminar at the Japan Intercultural Academy of Municipalities in Shiga Prefecture on February 23, 2012.
This seminar was attended by government officials and associations from across the country.  The title and theme of the seminar was "International Markets: Cultivate overseas markets with regional resources.  After disaster inbound strategy".
The Managing director of our bureau introduced our area and practical, effectiveness for increasing international tourism smoothly while staying true to the essence of the regions spiritual and cultural resources.
We hope that our case study was a positive model for other municipalities in Japan willing to try a new model for sustainable tourism at a grassroots level.
Japan Intercultural Academy ofMunicipalities website >>

Tanabe City receives the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Regional Development Award

Tanabe City received the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Regional Development Award in the fiscal year of 2010 and the Japan Center for Regional Development has recently released a mini documentary on the subject.  


Tanabe City's holistic and sustainable approach to tourism with community development as its heart was the basis for this award.  Introducing local farm products and experiences to diversify tourism in the area to open new business opportunities to farmers while staying true to the area's cultural traditions was a strong theme for the city.  Effectively increasing international tourism in a smooth and sustainable fashion was also covered.
The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau plays an integral part of this unique award winning network of stakeholders. 
View the video online (Japanese only)>> Detailed award information (Japanese only)>>

VJ French agent Kumano FAM trip

VJ French agent Kumano FAM trip
From February 21 to 24, 2012 Wakayama Prefecture, Osaka City, and Nara Prefecture sponsored a FAM trip for a group of 2 travel agents from France as part of the Visit Japan campaign.  The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau supported with planning and guiding of this tour.
The tour visited sites along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route and the Kumano Sanzan shrines; Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
Yunomine Onsen and Kawayu Onsen, two isolated hot spring areas,  were included in this tour.  They stayed overnight at Adumaya Ryokan and Fujiya Ryokan.


This small FAM trip offered a quality chance to talk and exchange ideas with the agents, both of whom it was their first time in Japan.  We hope that their new experiences here are of value to introduce their clients to the sacred Kumano region.

French agent Kumano FAM trip

French agent Kumano FAM trip
From February 16 to 19 Wakayama Prefecture and Kyoto city sponsored a FAM trip for a group of 10 travel agents from France.  The Tanabe City KumanoTourism Bureau supported with planning and guiding of this tour.


The tour visited sites along the KumanoKodo pilgrimage route and the Kumano Sanzan shrines; Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
Three of the main hot spring areas were also included in this tour; Yunomine Onsen, Kawayu Onsen, and RyujinOnsen.
All of the agents were impressed with the area and are hoping to include Kumano in new itineraries to introduce their guests to this unique region in Japan.
Thank you so much to all of the agents for joining this tour and for the local businesses and associations who helped make it a success.

Blue Sky Guesthouse Reopens

The Blue Sky Guesthouse in Hongu has reopened.

Blue Sky Guesthouse was damaged in the Typhoon Talas in September 2011.  The young owner, Naoya Yamamoto, is thrilled to be able to host visitors once more and thanks all those who have volunteered to help repair the building and grounds.  He hopes that it is better than before.  Welcome Back!
Book Blue Sky Guesthouse online now!

Bureau staff, 100 influential people of Southern Kii Peninsula

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau's International Tourism Promotion and Development Director Brad Towle was chosen as one of the 100 people of the southern region of the Kii Peninsula.  

Kii Minpo, the local newspaper is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and in commemoration is running the series on the 100 most well-known, interesting, or influential people of the area. 
The bureau's Director, Tada Noriko, was also included earlier this year. 
Both Brad Towle and Tada Noriko are thrilled and honoured to be selected.

Minshuku Wakatake has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

Minshuku Wakatake has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

Minshuku Wakatake is a friendly, family run hot spring guesthouse near the Kii-Katsuura station.  Katsuura is a fishing port village famous for its tuna.  Minshuku Wakatake takes full advantage of this location next to the sea by serving fresh and delicious seafood all year round.  They are especially proud of their grilled tuna cheek or collar, a local delicacy.  If you are a connoisseur of Japanese sake, make sure to sample their extensive collection of local brew.

Minshuku Wakatake reservations >> About Kumano Travel >>

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Onsite Evaluation

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau has been nominated for the World Travel and Tourism Council's 2012 Tourismfor Tomorrow Awards in the Destination Stewardship category. 
The second phase in the judging process is a rigorous onsite evaluation.  For the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau this took place from February 10~13. 
An international expert on sustainable tourism visited Tanabe to view our projects and initiatives first hand.  In addition to experiencing the sites she also interviewed a variety of stakeholders including the mayor of Tanabe City, the Governor of Wakayama Prefecture, local business owners, the head of the Wakayama World Heritage Center, and the head priest of the Kumano Hongu Taisha.

It turned out not to be just an evaluation but also an excellent opportunity for the people of Tanabe City to learn more about sustainability from the very knowledge evaluator.  It was a wonderful experience for all involved and we are very happy to be blessed with this positive …

Yoshinoya Ryokan has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

Yoshinoya Ryokan has joined the Kumano Travel Community!


Yoshinoya Ryokan is a family run inn located in the center of Yunomine Onsen next to the World Heritage Tsuboyu bath.  This two story facility features a lovely private outdoor hot spring bath in a garden-like setting. Great for couples!  Views from the guestrooms overlook a small creek and the hot spring village.  The Tsujimoto family are very welcoming hosts and the meals are prepared with care.  Yoshinoya Ryokan is popular with walkers and pilgrims as the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route runs nearby.


Yoshinoya Ryokan reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Dorokyo Gorge Jet Boat Tour has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

Dorokyo Gorge Jet Boat Tour has joined the Kumano Travel Community!


Dorokyo is a gorge on the Kitayama-gawa River, a tributary of the Kumano-gawa River,  situated along the borders of Wakayama, Nara and Mie prefectures in the Yoshino-Kumano National Park.  It is famous for its steep cliffs, clear emerald waters, and unique rock formations.  Traveling by jet boat is a fun and easy way to experience this natural treasure from water level.  The boats have large windows and the roof opens on clear days in the upper reaches of the valley so guests can get a good look at the sheer rock walls.  The colors of the lush forests along the way beautifully reflect the changing seasons.


Dorokyo Gorge Jet Boat Tour  reservations >> About Kumano Travel >>

VJ French agent Kumano FAM trip

From February 21 to 24, 2012 Wakayama Prefecture, Osaka City, and Nara Prefecture sponsored a FAM trip for a group of 2 travel agents from France as part of the Visit Japan campaign.  The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau supported with planning and guiding of this tour.

The tour visited sites along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route and the Kumano Sanzan shrines; Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
Yunomine Onsen and Kawayu Onsen, two isolated hot spring areas,  were included in this tour.  They stayed overnight at Adumaya Ryokan and Fujiya Ryokan.
This small FAM trip offered a quality chance to talk and exchange ideas with the agents, both of whom it was their first time in Japan.  We hope that their new experiences here are of value to introduce their clients to the sacred Kumano region.