The Travelling to Japan: Keys for Communicating and Discovering the Best Places to Visit event organized by the Centre for Modern Languages took place at the UOC’s centre in Madrid on Thursday 25 October. Hajime Kishi, Manager of the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO) office in Madrid, gave a talk titled “Japan: A Welcoming, Affordable Destination for Any Tourist”.
In the first part of his talk, he gave details on the current trends in tourism in Japan. Travelling abroad became fashionable among the Japanese following Expo ’70, a world’s fair held in Osaka. For years, Japan saw more people travelling to other countries than tourists coming to visit the country. But this changed in 2016 thanks to the policies introduced by Prime Minister Shinzô Abe’s government – the so-called ‘Abeconomics’ – that promoted Japan as a tourist destination.
In the second part of his talk, Kishi gave the audience an idea of all the different things tourists can do in Japan. He described the luxury accommodation on offer, both Western-style hotels and traditional Japanese-style hotels or ryokan (旅館). He also talked about more affordable options, like the so-called ‘business hotels’, capsule hotels, minshuku (民宿) in rural areas, where tourists can stay with local families, kominka (古民家) boutique-type hotels, which are antique homes converted into hotels with all the latest fittings, and shukubô (宿坊), Buddhist monasteries where guests can get a taste of monastic life and learn how to make shôjin ryôri, the vegetarian food eaten by the monks. People who have already visited the tourist hotspots of Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima will no doubt find it interesting to hear what he had to say about the sights to see in Hokkaidô, Tôhoku, San’in, Kyushu and Okinawa.