By The Nation
The participants first attended lectures on Japan’s recent overseas travel market trend and gastronomy tourism at Wakayama University where they also delivered presentations on their own country’s gastronomy tourism.
The group then visited gastronomy tourism sites in Wakayama and tasted the famed Buddhist vegetarian food served at Shukubo (temple lodging) in Koyasan. Participants visited and experienced fruit picking, tuna bidding and tuna can making, a unique agritourism venue which used to be a school building, and a traditional soy sauce manufacturer in Yuasa town, the birthplace of soy sauce. The group also visited Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, which promotes the world heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route in a sustainable manner with the local community.
Sometimes referred to as “from farm to table”, gastronomy tourism can provide a variety of experience-based activities starting from growing and harvesting food ingredients to cooking and tasting food. Such activities are suitable for repeat-travelers who seek unique experiences and can be applied in the Asean Member States to further provide programmes for visitors to experience and know about food and culture of the countries. It is expected that this workshop will help the development of unique and sustainable tourism products to introduce rich food culture of Asean.