Agricultural tourism catches on in Japan


Tourists experience agricultural work in Tono. | Photo courtesy of Tono Natural Life Network

The goal of this exchange between city and rural residents is to stimulate the local economy, and to have local residents feel a sense of accomplishment and pride by hosting tourists.

By Richard Smith
Western Producer
Dec 6, 2018


TONO, Japan — Kotoro Kikuchi, a second-year student at Tono Ryokuho High School, came to stay at a farm Sept. 26-27 with three other boys from his school.

“Today, we harvested chestnuts,” Kikuchi said.

Kikuchi, 17, said he came here to experience agriculture, but he wants to be a fisherman after graduating from high school.

Fellow schoolmate Tokiya Ogasawara, 16, said he hasn’t decided what he wants to be after graduation.

“But there’s nothing outside agriculture that I want to do,” Ogasawara said.

Kikuchi,Ogasawara, Masaki Endo, 16, and 17-year-old Yuya Kikuchi were on a program for second-year students of their school that promotes farmstays to experience farming. The farm/bed-and-breakfast where they stayed is run by retired Tono city area revitalization section manager Noriyasu Sasaki, 63, and his 62-year-old wife, Manako.

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