松本のIdentity of Matsumoto

2010.03.03: 青い目のおもてなし This American’s Omotenashi

縄手通りの四柱神社 NTTも必要だが、この場所じゃ邪魔。松本のIdentityがボケる訳。


The Matsumoto JC's invited me to give a talk on their town's "identity" from a foreigner's perspective. I've gone sightseeing as well as shopping in 'Moto many times, in addition to working on a project to study the city's signature onsen, Asama. So based on those experiences, I gave my insight. Besides its famous castle, the related side streets of Nawate and Naka-Dori have a medieval feel to them. Arts-wise, there's the Ukiyoe Museum as well as the annual Arts and Crafts Fair. Shopping-wise, even Nagano-ites are envious of Parco and the Inoue Department Store. Nature-wise, 'Moto is the doorstep to Kamikochi and the Japanese Alps. And so on.
Today I did some sightseeing and shopping with my buddy from Chikuma City, Kakizaki-san. At the talk I gave, there was a small tea ceremony held, featuring Shinmito tea sweets that are sold at the Inoue Department Store. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Inoue. So Kakizaki-san and I first went to the department store to buy the tea sweets. By the way, I figured out Inoue's secret to surviving the slump most other department stores are facing. Their sales people do the buying. Most department stores probably have specific purchasers, but they are in their own world separate from the sales floor. Not only do the salespeople know what the consumers want, but if they do the purchasing, they are in a better position to "sell" the consumers on the products. I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes made, but their idea sounds good to me. I certainly want to encourage them.
Next, Kakizaki-san and I walked along Nawate-dori street. There were stairs down to the Metoba River who's tranquil riverside made you forget that Nagano's second biggest city is all around you. And there was a shop selling antique tools -- I loved it! Plus, there are water features all over the place.
I really appreciate the Matsumoto JC's inviting me for a speech. But they don't need me. They themselves need to get out and walk around their town. Then they'll realize it's unique qualities!

松本JCのHPはこちらClick here for the website for the Matsumoto JC's.

縄手通りの詳しくはこちらClick here for info on Nawate Dori

井上デパートのHPはこちらClick here for Inoue Department Store's website.


One of the many water features


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