Geographical review of Japan series B
Online ISSN : 1883-4396
ISSN-L : 1883-4396
Article of the Special Issue
Sustainable Systems of Agri-tourism in a Cherry-growing Area: A Case Study of the Miizumi Area, Sagae City, Yamagata Prefecture
HAYASHI Takuya
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2010 Volume 82 Issue 2 Pages 60-77

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Abstract

This study attempted to clarify sustainable systems of agri-tourism in a cherry-growing area. In Sagae city, cherry picking was started in the latter half of the 1960s when some farmers received tourists through a travel company of Sendai city. Then, some farmers organized group for cherry picking and stepped up efforts to engage in agri-tourism. In the 1980s, a window of agri-tourism was included in the agricultural cooperative to correspond to tourism demand and to unify service and pricing of many pick-your-own farms. At cherry harvest time, the agricultural cooperative arranged for media to focus on the cherry of Sagae city and aimed at the new business development of market and the improvement of publicity. When cherry for direct selling was not enough, farms engaged in agri-tourism were supplied cherries through cherry shipment group of the agricultural cooperative. Thus, it was important that the farms which were engaged in agri-tourism maintained good relations with the other farms and with the agricultural cooperative. This research analyzed agri-tourism of the Miizumi area as a study of the most prosperous case. In the Miizumi area, there were a lot of opportunities and activities to improve cultivation technique of all farmers regardless of the difference of the sales system. This brought a tolerant atmosphere to enable sales through various distribution channels among farmers. In addition, high quality cherries that were supplied through various distribution channels improved the publicity as “cherry of Miizumi or Sagae” and, as a result, it had many effects on regional agriculture development. This shows one possibility for agri-tourism development in a large growing area.

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© 2010 The Association of Japanese Geographers
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