RE-EMERGENCE OF JAPAN’S TOHOKU REGION AS TOURIST DESTINATION

Japan’s National Tourism Organisation has announced that the Tohoku region, hard hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is re-emerging as a tourism destination.

On Tuesday, June 6, the JNTO and the Embassy of Japan hosted a Japan-US Tourism Seminar at the Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. 

The event took place during the International Pow Wow (IPW), one of the biggest tourism industry events in the United States. The goal was to emphasise the active tourism exchange between the United States and Japan, and announce that Tohuku, the area hit hardest in March 2011 by both an earthquake and tsunami, is now ready to actively receive tourists again. Local cuisine and saké from the region was showcased during the event.

The event host was Kelley Ferro, an award-wining travel journalist and filmmaker. Ferro visited Tohoku and created promotional videos as part of the JNTO’s Visit Japan Campaign in 2016. Ferro stated, “Tohoku is a magnificently beautiful place to visit, with its bright blue lakes and lush forests. Hiking through the mountainous terrain and taking in the natural beauty of these islands was an unforgettable experience.”

As Ferro mentioned, Tohoku is home to numerous regional attractions and exquisite cuisine. To enjoy the region to its fullest, one can take a local luxury train, such as the Shiki-Shima, launched on May 1, from Tokyo to Tohuku and taste cuisine from the region’s most prominent chefs along the way.   

Japan continues to attract many international travelLers, and JNTO’s New York office is focused on   promoting off-the-beaten-path areas like Tohoku, in hopes of encouraging tourists to continuously visit and explore Japan’s numerous hidden attractions.


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One of the largest waterfalls in Japan, with a spectacular view of a large amount of falling water

Sanjonotaki Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Japan, 100m tall and 30m wide. Because it collects all the water from Ozegahara, the wetland nearby, a huge amount of water passes through the falls. Such a large amount of water roaring down the falls is a spectacular view. The name Sanjo (meaning “triple rows”) comes from the fact that the waterfall splits into three rows when the water level is low.

The waterfall is located on the border of Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures, and is one of the Best 100 Waterfalls in Japan. Although the trekking course from Ozegahara is a famous path, it is a highly undulating mountain route with a rough surface. You would be better to not take on the challenge unless you are definitely confident in your physical strength.

Although you cannot reach the waterfall basin, the observation deck provides a view of the entire waterfall. There is another waterfall nearby, so you can enjoy different types of water flows. It takes about 35 minutes on foot from one waterfall to the other. If you look up at the waterfalls giving out a rumbling noise and take in the negative ions in the mist, you will be refreshed and forget about how tired you are from taking the mountain path.