Carried on into the future through ingenuity and innovation

Taking on the challenges of the future

Innovators have taken beloved local cuisine in new directions. They are using novel ingredients and methods to create new local flavors, so be sure to give them a try.
In the Tokachi region cheesemakers have formed the High-Quality Food Association of Tokachi, and bread bakers have formed the Association of Creating Tokachi Bread, working together as one to explore ways to further develop local foods. Ichinoseki, known as the mecca of mochi, has over 300 mochi dishes, and that number continues to rise.
In Tsuruoka, a treasure house of native vegetables, Chef Okuda of «Al-ché-cciano» leads the local culinary scene by developing unique new ways of preparing seasonal local ingredients.

Preserving the past for the future

The beautiful vistas of old Japan live on in its satoyama, foothills between villages and mountains, protected and passed on by the people who live there.
The Nishimura village, with its beautiful terraced fields, has been designated as the « Maze Satoyama Museum », and aims to attract a greater number of visitors as a green tourism site. The forest along the Maze River, home to ayu (sweetfish) and amago (red-spotted trout), has been designated as a fish-breeding forest. In order to create an environment more hospitable to fish, limits have been placed on logging within the designated area. This helps prevent water clouding and pollution, creates shade on the surface of the water, and prevents the water temperature from rising. Nishi-Awa, one of Japan's Three Secluded Regions, ancient farmhouses have been restored. Traditional dwellings, built over 300 years ago, are preserved as they were, renovated for greater convenience as lodging facilities. The unspoilt landscape of Japan is popular with both Japanese and foreign visitors. Preservation efforts are spreading from Nishi-Awa to the rest of the country.