By: Ali Syarief
FU, Tokyo – Together with colleagues in the profession as Citizen Reporters (post journalism term – in the digital era), finally at the beginning of November 23, the author could set foot in Japan, which is famous for its scientific progress and modernization. Bandaged by the transition of weather from summer to winter, along with beautiful forests that are starting to turn red, just about to fall, Japan is like a dreamland – the same as the beautiful photos that are widely circulated.
The idea of goodwill for 10 participants from PPWI (Indonesian Citizen Journalists Association) members who came from various regions of the country, aimed at serving as a benchmark and as a bridge for cooperation for the two nations, was considered a good idea. So, with the support of several parties, from within the country and Japan itself, this goodwill program has become something inspiring for further development.
Having good time with colorful autumn
What are the souvenirs (omiyage) you get from a week of interacting with Japan and its people?
There are important records, which we see, among others, the number of foreign visitors to Japan for various business and leisure purposes, rose to 2.52 million last October from 2.18 million in September 2023. According to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of visitors increased by 100.8% compared to 2019 before the Covid-19 outbreak caused travel restrictions throughout the world. The official data shows that visitors to Japan surpassed pre-pandemic levels in October, and marks a full recovery in arrivals for the first time since the easing of border controls last year.
Iiyama City Government Support
Very thankfully, our group was fully supported by the Government of Iiyama City, Nagano Prefecture, so that we could see and visit various cultural attractions and tourist attractions that were available. The Iiyama City Government also opened a dialogue, led by the Deputy Mayor, Mrs. Yukari Ito, along with all staff related to tourism there.
Special meeting with Deputy Mayor of Iiyama-shi, H.E. Mrs Yukari Ito
Iiyama (飯山市) is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Iiyama is located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, in the Chubu region, Japan. This region is surrounded by mountains and has a varied climate depending on the season.
The city’s population may change over time, but in general, it is one of the smaller cities in Nagano Prefecture. The population is very actively involved in various sectors, including agriculture and tourism.
Iiyama City is also famous for its fertile rice fields. Agriculture is one of the important economic aspects of this region. Rice and fruits are some of the main agricultural products produced here.
This region is also known as a tourist destination, especially during the winter. Some popular tourist attractions in the vicinity include ski resorts and onsen. But during the summer, you’ll find natural beauty that appeals to hikers.
Accessibility can be an important factor for the growth and development of this city. The local train station is integrated with the Shinkansen and is an important transportation point for easy travel to and from Iiyama.
Cultural and Historical Heritage
Like many cities in Japan, Iiyama may have an interesting cultural and historical heritage. Traditional temples and festivals are often an attraction for tourists and are also part of the daily life of local people.
During the Donald Trump administration, there were many incidents of racism in America. This has resulted in many tourists from various countries visiting America diverting their tourist destination to Japan. Tourists from Indonesia were recorded as the most visitors. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic then occurred, which caused all programs to be destroyed.
Journalists in japan Traditional Attires
Japan is known to have several advantages in the tourism industry. Thus, making it one of the popular tourist destinations in the world. Some of these advantages include a long cultural heritage and abundant historical heritage.
Japan has a very rich cultural heritage, including ancient temples, magnificent palaces, beautiful gardens, and traditional festivals. Tourists can experience traditional Japanese life while enjoying the modernity of big cities.
On the other hand, Japan is famous as a representation of modern technological progress. Tourists can experience advanced technology through visits to innovation centers such as Akihabara in Tokyo, where they can explore the latest technology trends.
Another interesting thing is that Indonesian people are starting to become addicted to Japanese food. Excellent gastronomy. Japanese dishes, such as sushi, ramen, and tempura, have become popular throughout the world. Tourists often come to Japan to taste authentic dishes and have a unique culinary experience.
Japan’s transport system is also very efficient, including the Shinkansen bullet train and a good public transport network. This makes traveling between cities easy and comfortable for tourists.
Japan offers incredible natural beauty, including mountains like Mount Fuji, national parks, and stunning beaches. Tourists can enjoy diverse natural views throughout the year.
Host Families in Japan
The Japanese are known for their hospitality and service to tourists. Japanese society has a strong tradition of serving guests politely and kindly.
Our group was very lucky to have the opportunity to stay with a Japanese family in various typical Japanese houses. There is no impression that can be described with words and poetry, other than sweet memories that will not be forgotten. This is thanks to support from the LEX Hippo Family Club, whose members are spread across various regions throughout Japan.
Enjoying life with Japanese families
Japan hosts various cultural events, festivals and traditional performances that attract the attention of tourists. In addition, anime, manga and Japanese popular culture also attract many art and entertainment lovers. These events are scheduled regularly.
Last but not least Japan is known as one of the safest countries in the world. Environmental safety and cleanliness are priorities, providing a sense of comfort and security for visiting tourists. All these factors together create a unique and exciting tourism experience in Japan, making it one of the world’s top destinations for tourists from all over the world. (*)
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