Win 30 Days, 1 Million Yen To Enjoy And Write On Japan's Tohoku Region
Japan’s Tohoku region was devastated by a 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami and Fukushima power plant disaster. Five years later, officials are hoping a new perspective will spark the kind of tourism interest this vibrant region deserves.
The Japan Times reports on an exciting contest that will garner a few individuals some money and opportunity to visit Tohoku, experience its riches and write about it.
That last part is kind of important, because it’s sort of the reason behind what is being called the Tohoku 365 Project.
The Japan Times describes it as such: “up to six people each year will be chosen to embark on ¥1 million in travel, with the aim to write blogs on their experiences.”
Essentially, you will be paid to traverse the region and immerse yourself in the culture. In fact, the contest is open solely to non-Japanese respondents.
The hope is that in time travelers from around the world will realize that the area is now safe to enjoy and will give it a chance in the form of booked hotels and planned itineraries.
The report signals a tourism push that is badly needed at this point: “Foreign tourists in Japan totaled about 20 million last year — more than double that of 2012 — but the six prefectures of Tohoku only recovered to the pre-disaster level of 500,000 foreign tourists a year in 2015, according to the Reconstruction Agency.”
A website is in the works at the moment and will launch on April 27. Until the submission page goes live, you can pore over the details and ready your own entry at Tohoku365.com.
First, you will have to dust off the amateur recording studio and capture a minute video that illustrates who you are and what makes you the kind of on-the-ground Tohoku blogger that would spark interest.
If you get through that gauntlet, it’s onto the resume and application phase, which is then followed by a Skype interview.
If you do happen to win you get 30 days in a region teeming with amazing people and resplendent with captivating culture. And that ¥1 million, or about $9,152, should help matters as well.
Ryota Saito conjured the measures and tells the Japan Times, “Tourism (in Tohoku) can’t develop unless overseas visitors know Tohoku has tourist spots.”
A major component of the contest will be social media and the winner’s ability to connect with a larger crowd through myriad channels.
It’s a brilliant move for a region that may just need a few extra eyes on its lush landscape and engaging tourism possibilities.
Whether or not you win, it seems we will all be hearing and seeing a great deal more from Tohoku in the near future.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
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