Leisure and Environmental Education in Japan

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Dachgeschoss (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Munehiko ASAMIZU, Yamaguchi University, Japan
Rural activities as leisure pursuits are changing historical trends in Japan. Before the Green Tourism Law of 1994 was enacted, tourist-oriented agricultural activities such as fruit picking and livestock experiences on farms were popular among urban residents. Rental farmland near urban areas was also already popular.

In addition, some more remote rural areas such as Touno (Iwate Prefecture), Ajimu (Oita Prefecture) and Iida (Nagano Prefecture) developed rural tourism by using farmers’ houses. However, the enactment of this law spurred the nationwide spread of green tourism development.

Educational rural tourism is also being developed throughout Japan. Some small communities such as Ojika (Nagasaki Prefecture) and Suo Oshima (Yamaguchi Prefecture) already invite high school students to experience the rural way of life. After their success, many rural municipalities are following the same path.

The rural way of life could be used to attract international tourists as well. Ojika already accepts international excursionists from the US, Korea and Taiwan, and provides international volunteers to assist them. Though Suo Oshima already accepts more than 4000 domestic excursionists each year, it also accepted some participants from the World Scout Jamboree in Yamaguchi in 2015.