Craft beer is always enhanced by a great backstory.
Big changes in the popularity of craft brew in Japan have mirrored the enthusiasm for hand-crafted, locally-sourced, high-quality beers around the world. In the mountains of Tokushima, the zero-waste town of Kamikatsu has two outstanding breweries: Rise & Win and Stone Wall Hill. Both of these breweries produce delicious Portland-style beers while practicing the highest levels of sustainable business operations in stylish fashion. In fact, in every aspect of design, planning, and operations, R&W/SEH breweries are great examples of entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation in Japan.
Continue reading “Exceptional Craft Breweries Rise & Win + Stone Wall Hill”
In terms of destination marketing, online access to information has arguably become more important than any other advertising investments. The following is a summary and discussion of the Tourism Expo Japan symposium on the importance of Digital Marketing to the Inbound Market, from the particular view of rural tourist destinations in Japan.
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The tourism industry in Japan has developed a variety of high-quality tourism products, but there are problems in relaying the right message to potential users and providing access. The luxury travel market is an area that is just starting to gain traction, but like a newly opened restaurant in Japan, requires a training period to refine the quality of the product.
Continue reading “High Caliber Service Requires Flexibility”
Inbound visitors to Japan are continuing to increase and some food chains are innovating the way they have always done business to better accommodate the needs of international customers. A stand-out example is CocoIchibanya, the international curry-rice chain that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. Coco’s started in 1978 and has expanded upon their domination across Japan to 155 stores overseas as of May 2018. The first overseas shop opened in Hawaii in 1994 and then in China in 2004.
Continue reading “Better than Business As Usual – Ethical Innovation at Curry House CoCoIchibanya”
On July 6th, 2018 an unusual and devastating storm hit West Japan that brought the heaviest rainstorms, flooding, and landslides to towns that had never before been devastated by natural disasters. Many towns in Hiroshima and Okayama were particularly hard hit. Weeks after the disaster, some areas are still without running water, electricity or public transportation.
Continue reading “Disaster Volunteer Tourism”
July floods and landslides have seriously affected many areas in Japan from Kyoto to Kyushu. Climate change has created the worst storms in history, locals report they have never experienced anything as bad. The extreme weather began around the 4th of July. Even now, almost a week later, and major cities are still in emergency evacuation and recovery mode. I’ve been asked by visitors if they should change their travel plans to come to the area, or leave sooner than planned, and I would have to say YES. This is not a good time to travel to this area seeking out great experiences and sightseeing.
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The smallest town on Shikoku island, Kamikatsu, is once again forging to the front. While cities and countries around the world struggle to create stricter policies to reduce and manage waste, Kamikatsu now reaps the benefits of over fifteen years of experience in sustainable development and management. Most recently, at the end in 2017, the Zero Waste Academy launched a new accreditation scheme which has great potential to set a new transparency standard for sustainable business operations in Japan.
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If you are running a business and would like to improve its level of sustainability, here is a check-list of items to consider:
Continue reading “Sustainable Practices Checklist”
I’ve never been to a quality sake or beer festival that doesn’t use traditional ceramic sake cups or beer “joki” to provide the best experience of their product.
Enjoying a quality drink in a quality reusable cup can significantly improve the quality (taste) of the product as well as the appeal of a place, service or event. Any company or destination looking to elevate overall appeal should at least pilot a reusable container scheme in place of current single-use versions. The trial cost-benefit ratio alongside feedback from staff and customers can more effectively inform sustainable business decisions. Reusable containers are used to promote high-quality products and experiences in Japan. If this practice is applied across wider consumer experiences, it could elevate destination branding and appeal.
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Japan’s tourism pollution, or over-tourism, is no longer a problem that can be ignored. As the numbers of inbound visitors continue to climb its time to start thinking about positive strategies might be the most effective. Staggering is one method of spreading visitors out upon entrance to attractions. This article discusses how implementing good strategy can enhance the visitor experience while helping attractions and destinations better manage crowds.
Continue reading “Staggering the Crowd Adds Value”