Children’s Day Beach Clean Prompts Solution Search

Plastic pollution is a worldwide issue that communities around the world are trying to tackle, but the amount of plastic waste on Ganne beach was a shock on Childrens’ Day (5/5) which led to a solution search. Here are some low-cost solutions which could be applied to destinations across Japan which would improve the appeal of the location to new residents and visitors.
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Seeking Sustainable Tourism : Miyajima

At the end of Sakura season in April, I had a very interesting research day on Miyajima to inform a new series, “Seeking Sustainable Tourism”.
I’ve visited Hiroshima’s most famous island over fifty times in the last 22 years and I would rank it highly as a sustainable tourist destination: 7 (out of 10). This April visit was to answer if a visitor could enjoy a day on Miyajima without using or receiving any plastic waste.
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Sustainable Sweet [Spring] Talk at Taiko Udon

Here we are talking spring and sustainability in a new series for 2019 titled “Sustainable-Sweet-Talk”. This is an exciting new collaboration with local food expert, Hiroshima Food Snob, who in her mere eight years in Hiroshima has gone to university and run her own cool cafe and is now working as a writer, TV talent and translator- so exciting to work with someone so passionate and knowledgeable about Japanese food. We both love sweets, so even if we don’t eat sweets every time (although we likely will), focusing on sustainable innovation is always SWEET as in awesome if you don’t mind my dated slang.

HiroshimaFoodSnob and I will meet up regularly to introduce you to the best local events and eateries that have great products and services, like Taiko Udon above, which operate with a higher-than-business-as-usual-level focus on sustainability.

In this video, we introduce some great nature-based sakura viewing activities for travelers coming to Hiroshima in Spring. Read more about Spring festivals and events in Hiroshima on GetHiroshima

Rachel (Hiroshima Food Snob) has written a great introduction to Taiko Udon in Hiroshima city here.

From a sustainable business model, Taiko Udon is a great case study of innovation and business strategy. The owner attended many of the inbound marketing seminars by GetHiroshima/Jizo Hat and was keen to meet the new demand by international travelers to Japan searching for vegan Japanese dining options. Taiko-Udon now has created a menu filled with beautifully flavorful, plant-based soup broth vegan noodle options- relatively unheard of in most Japanese restaurants across Japan.

The owner is also keen to address waste issues by tackling chopstick or utensil single-use waste. Taiko-Udon provides more sustainable versions of the disposable chopstick for diners, created from locally sourced bamboo. But above and beyond the norm, Taiko-Udon also sells light, clean and beautiful wooden reusable dining sets in a foldable case for 500 yen. This is a great resource for locals and travelers looking for a portable “myhashi” utensil solution to the single-use problem.

In terms of sustainable-business operations, Taiko Udon ticks a lot of boxes: transparency of operations (good English and Japanese menu), seasonal varieties of food sourced from local areas, reusable cutlery, and caters to the needs of customers with religious, allergy or dietary restrictive lifestyles: the vegan options with 100% plant-based soup stock (dashi) is a welcome, sustainable innovation at a Japanese noodle shop.

The owner of Taiko says of his reasons to switch to a plant-based soup stock and sell reusable cutlery, “We do what we can do”. This is the absolute key to sustainable business success. First, make clear, realistic goals, then reassess progress, renew goals, & repeat.

FOO Chocolaters Aims to Balance the Needs of People and Planet


Tucked off to the left side of Hiroshima airport’s 3rd floor is a hidden gem, a chocolate factory and shop called FOO. This classy chocolate shop is something special not only because of its excellent products, but also for operations that follow high-level sustainability aims.

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Joge- Hiroshima’s Beautiful Japanese Ghost-town

The true concept of sustainability in tourism can be observed at destinations where local people are happy to live, you can see the preservation of heritage in action, and natural resources are being well taken care of. The tricky part, however, is to also find a way to maintain streams of income in order to be a viable, sustainable tourism destination. In Japan we are seeing so many examples of destinations which are too popular and overtourism is a real problem. On the other end of the scale, however, a total absence of visitors is also a serious problem. I had the chance to visit a quaint and interesting village in the Hiroshima countryside, called Joge, which has so much potential for success as a sustainable tourism destination, but is struggling due to a lack of visitors.
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Disaster Volunteer Tourism

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.
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