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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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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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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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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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”