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Japan National Tourism Organization Promotes Japan as a Gastronomy Tourism Destination


Participated in the 7th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism held in Nara, Japan, attended by more than 450 delegates from 30 countries and over 1,000 online in 125 countries

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) presented Japan as a destination for gastronomy tourism at the 7th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism held in Nara, Japan, from December 12 to 15, 2022. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines gastronomy tourism as a type of tourism activity which is characterized by the visitor’s experience linked with food and related products and activities while travelling.

In promoting Japanese gastronomy tourism to the Forum’s global audience, JNTO provided information on destinations across the country where visitors can explore the depth of food culture. These included the host prefecture of Nara, said to be one of the birthplaces of Japanese food culture, including the use of indispensable ingredients such as sake and dashi (broth made with dried bonito flakes, kombu seaweed and shiitake mushrooms).

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The Forum, which was organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center, hosted by Nara Prefecture, and supported by the Japan Tourism Agency, brought together more than 450 delegates from 30 countries and over 1,000 online in 125 countries, including stakeholders in the food and tourism sectors.

In the opening, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “This year’s Forum represents a unique opportunity for experts to share their best practices and enhance the role of gastronomy tourism in talent, sustainability, innovation, and social inclusion, and highlight its importance for regional and rural development.”

In a panel discussion on Japanese gastronomy tourism moderated by JNTO Executive Vice President Rieko Nakayama, experts in food, sake brewing, and tourism shared best practices. “JNTO uses food as a hook for inbound tourism promotion as it is one of the main motivations for overseas tourists to visit Japan,” she explained. “This panel discussion was very informative from various perspectives, including the fact that the success of gastronomy tourism depends vitally on collaboration among local stakeholders, such as restaurants, sake brewers, farmers, accommodation facilities, and hot springs operators. Developing people with the necessary skills is essential too. We also learned that local cuisine, if strategically branded, can help to improve the brand value of the region itself.”

JNTO will continue to promote Japan as a travel destination for overseas tourists through a variety of activities.

To discover more about Japanese gastronomy tourism and view PR materials that were provided by JNTO at the event, please see the following resources.

TV program

Title: “Program feature on the appeal of gastronomy tourism in Japan”

Broadcasted by: NHK WORLD JAPAN/jibtv

Schedule: January 27, 2023


“An epic eating adventure in JAPAN”:
“Sustainable Travel Experiences in JAPAN”:
“Japan Adventure”:
“Muslim Travelers’ Guide”:

PR videos

“Enjoy my Japan -DELICIOUS JAPAN-”:

Digital brochures

“EXPLORE DEEPER Sustainable experiences in Japan”

About Japan National Tourism Organization

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is an independent administrative corporation under the jurisdiction of the Japan Tourism Agency. JNTO operates tourism promotion offices in overseas countries, promoting tourism to Japan and providing tourist information to overseas visitors.


Media contact
For media inquiries, including requests to use photographs, please contact the JNTO Press Office at

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