インバウンド的な諏訪「体験」 Doing Suwa through Inbound Eyes

2009.07.16: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

エクスカーションの間、真澄で弁当を食べながら(Kumiさん、お味噌汁が美味しかった!)、長野県のインバウンドの人たち11人と情報交換しました。諏訪の伊藤さんが地元の外国人をVolunteer Guideとして育っていく事業や、松本の清風荘の「浴衣を着て松本城散策」、南信州観光公社のエコ体験実例などなど、外国人観光客が長野県をさらに楽しめるようにの努力を聞いて、感心しました。これからはここでも詳しく紹介していきたいと思っています。
I met up with some of my fellow "Nagano Inbound Summit" participants for a meeting in Suwa yesterday. We did 2 'excursion' tours with a power lunch in the middle.
The 1st excursion was a tour of Masumi Sake's brewery. Their Export Manager, Keith-san, graciously showed us the facilities and explained Masumi's sake production. His enthusiasm for sake and Masumi was impressive -- I think I've become a Masumi-fan, too.
The owner's boss (?), Kumi-san, proceeded to explain Masumi's sake "concept". Most sake brewers just concentrate on how to make sake -- Masumi also focuses on how to enjoy sake. Their sake-tasting room provides the proper ambience for guests to properly enjoy Masumi's sake, and their gift shop has everything from sake cups to a wide variety for local and other foods to complement their sake.
The 2nd excursion was to see Suwa City's new "Onbashira Experience Park". The park just opened last weekend and features two pillars of the same size as that will be used in next year's once-every-seven-years Onbashira Festival. An important component of the festival is the Kiyari, a traditional work song. We were fortunate to have Komatsu-san of the Shimo-Suwa Kiyari Preservation Society come and lead us in a chant. Another local, Itoh-san of B&B Megu House ZuKu, provided English explanation. Seeing the massive pillars was impressive, but hearing Komatsu-san's (aka Mr. Onbashira) chant reverbrate off the far away buildings was most memorable.
In between the excursions, we met over bento at Masumi (compliments to Kumi-san for her miso soup!) and shared info on recent Inbound-related activities. Itoh-san gathering local foreigners to be volunteer guides, Seifuso in Matsumoto organizing a "Wear a Yukata to Matsumoto Castle" event, Minami-Shinshu Kanko Corporation's successful eco tourism, and so much more. I hope to introduce some of these activities here in this blog.
It was impressive to hear everyone's efforts to make Nagano Prefecture a more enjoyable place for tourists from overseas.
At the end, some of us stopped at Shimo-Suwa's Aki (Fall) Shrine. I was really enthralled by the area, and announced I had become a fan of Shimo-Suwa. One of my buddies said I should wait until I've seen the shrines at Kami-Suwa before deciding. I guess that means I'll have to come back to Suwa again soon!


真澄 Masumi

御柱 Onbashira

B&B めぐハウス Meg House ZuKu

南信州観光公社 Minami Shinshu Kanko Kosha

Entrance to Masumi

Bottles with Braille -- new Barrier-Free

Shimosha Onbashira

Kamisha Onbashira

Shimosha Aki-Miya's ancient, peaceful shrine


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