In this study, I examined two examples about town planning activities which Fukushima University participated in.
At “The lacquered art festival”, I evaluated the activity based on the investigation to some stores that had participated. As a result, it became clear that the lack of the cooperation between sectors which participated in the event brought about various problems. It is necessary to deepen each sector’s mutual understanding.
In Ishikawa-machi, I operated some researches for town planning activities and investigated about them, and offered much result to the area. By the East Japan great earthquake disaster, the activities in Ishikawa-machi was interrupted, but, some of activities that I showed in a proposal was realized afterwards.
Fukushima University which does not have interest with each sector can evaluate their activities as “a third party” of “the outside”. In addition, Fukushima University has know-how to carry out an investigation appropriately. And students who participated in these activities improved their learning will. The participation of Fukushima University has a good influence on not only the contribution to the region but also student education.
From the above mentioned examination, it is confirmed that the research function of the university is effective for community improvement.
The aim of this paper is to raise the issues of seminar activities concerned in community collaboration projects to revitalize farming and mountain villages. Iwate Prefectural University is a public university that actively promotes community collaboration projects. Their Research and Community Collaboration Headquarters is essential for community collaboration activities as it makes necessary arrangements between the university and its seminars. Our seminar has published a series of local community survey reports over a long period of time in order to make use of commissioned and subsidized projects for farming and mountain villages;these reports have helped the laboratory find many local participants in the early stages of collaboration projects. Our small seminar has conducted flexible activities in phases. These activities cover many communities, which have prompted them to take the first step toward revitalization. This had various spillover effects on the autonomy of local residents and the education of the university’s students. This shows that the university’s seminars are suitable key players in community collaboration activities. Their efforts, ingenuity and cooperation with the Research and Community Collaboration Headquarters will make it possible to propose projects for revitalizing farming and mountain villages in a short period of time, and even help local communities carry out these projects. Supporting the sustainable efforts of local communities requires the efforts of the university and the faculty to support the seminars and the university’s continuous collaboration with the local communities.
This research paper describes the details of a community development project integrating regional resources in Daisen City, Akita. The purpose of this research is to clarify the impact of the Kakumagawa Area Reactivation Council on future projects with reference to the questionnaire survey of the international students who participated in the monitor tour.
Increasingly greater numbers of foreigners and international students are visiting Japan for sightseeing and study abroad. Nonetheless, very few foreigners visit Akita Prefecture, and there are few opportunities to hear opinions of foreigners on regional resources of depopulated areas. Therefore, it will become increasingly important for each region to refer to the opinions of international students in Tohoku to develop their towns in future.
Established in 2015, the Kakumagawa Area Reactivation Council was organized as a collaborative body comprised of local residents, members of the Daisen City Hall and the Omagari Chamber of Commerce. This organization invited international students studying at Akita International University and Tohoku Gakuin University to take part in monitor tours from October, 2015 through February, 2016 for the purpose of soliciting their opinions. During this period the organization conducted seven monitor tours.The students toured a fireworks factory, visited traditional Japanese-style houses, experienced tea ceremony, learned how to make rice balls from local housewives during the day and observed a fireworks display at night.
Upon completion of each tour, the organization had participants complete a questionnaire to evaluate their experiences. Results revealed that the fireworks display and the tea ceremony was the most highly evaluated activity of each tour.Conversely, evaluation was divided concerning the visit to traditional Japanese-style houses, fireworks and sushi-making, while the Kakumagawa Bon festival dance experience was the least appreciated. It may have been difficult for international students to understand the history of Akita at the time of their visit to traditional Japanese-style houses, sometimes even with interpretation by translators. Some international visitors also find it hard to palate vinegared food. Furthermore, non-Japanese can find the Bon dance to be difficult to learn, and their teachers were obviously ill-prepared to instruct them.
Hosts have to make sufficient preparations for receiving tour visitors. The Kakumagawa Area Reactivation Council plans to promote future community improvement using the results of these questionnaires. By students who normally live in Tohoku to participate in the monitoring tour, their opinions became a great help in the future of the regional formation. The result of the tour was popular, which was a reference for future business development, and the motivation of the members of the Kakumagawa Area Reactivation Council has greatly improved. It leads to the region activated by the university and the local community is going to cooperate.
The Japanese government plans to encourage inbound tourism as an important political agenda, but very little headway has been made in local regions. This paper presents a desirable perspective of inbound tourism in local regions, using Kaminoyama City in Yamagata Prefecture as an example. This study is summarized as follows:
A combination project of hot springs and high altitude therapy was established in Kaminoyama in 2013. Although this project contains tourism promotion, it does not include inbound tourism. The targets of the project are residents and domestic tourists.
Hotel managers, the core of the tourism industry, feel a sense of crisis in the current situation and feel the necessity of cooperating with other professions;there is a growing momentum for changing their conservative attitude. With respect to inbound tourism, however, few managers plan to change.
According to a behavior analysis of foreign students as well as of facilities and events, inbound tourists are interested in conversing with residents and observing their lifestyle. Foreign students tend to observe regional resources against a large-scale framework such as Japanese culture and history rather than understand location-specific features. In Kaminoyama, apart from the hot springs, the city has no outstanding resource. The tourism proposal to promote not only Kaminoyama but also Japan by combining small regional resources will be effective for inbound tourism.
Taking into account the application of regional resources, the main actors in the civic collaboration are the residents. Their understanding and participation will affect the future of tourism in Kaminoyama. There is no precedent to the administrative correspondence to inbound tourism. Though the growing sense of crisis towards decreasing tourist numbers may change tourist agent awareness in the city, in the current situation, few agents are working actively to increase inbound tourists. Local universities should ease the way of the civic collaboration movement by regional reduction of research and education.
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