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.
Continue reading “Seeking Sustainable Tourism : Miyajima”
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.
Continue reading “Joge- Hiroshima’s Beautiful Japanese Ghost-town”
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.
Continue reading “Tourism During Disasters”