What is Savor Japan?

Savor Japan  Explore Regional Flavors

Regional areas where you can enjoy the best of Japanese dining and discover things related to foods, are certified as “Savor Japan” by the Minister of Ministry Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

In this year 2016 round, 5 areas; Tokachi-Hokkaido, Ichinoseki/ Hiraizumi-Iwate, Tsuruoka-Yamagata, Maze-Gifu, Nishi Awa-Tokushima, were given the Savor Japan certification through the approval committee that was organized by the Ministry.

The Savor Japan initiative opens the door to local resources in every corner of the country, such as the uniqueness of local foods, the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries in the area that produce those foods, as well as the charms of the local scenery, and house hospitality.

The growing interest in Japanese cuisine and culture by people from all over the world has fueled a dramatic increase in tourism to Japan, inspired by the desire to experience truly authentic Japanese food at the source.

Savor Japan certification is designed to draw attention to the local brand that come from the numerous farming, mountain and fishing villages throughout Japan where food is a way of life, and lead to an increase in interpersonal exchanges through a deeper discovery of Japanese cuisine and the enjoyment of unforgettable experiences in authentic Japanese food culture.

The registration period for fiscal year 2016 has ended.

First Round Savor Japan

Requirements to qualify for Savor Japan certification

All of the below requirements must be met
for an initiative to be considered qualifying.

Matters on Vision and goal
A clear vision and goal shall be set on such matters as the number of foreign tourists expected to visit as well as the countries and regions they are from; individual routes to the recommended destinations; and preparation of the receiving facilities.
Matters on local problems
Local problems that may arise upon implementing the efforts shall be clarified. The problems may include such matters as comprehensive promotion in the region starting with promotion of industries in agriculture, forestry and fishery; cooperation in connection with accommodations and restaurants; cooperation in connection with measures to prevent harm from wildlife; cooperation in connection with landscapes and environmental conservation; cooperation in connection with the handing down of local dietary culture and dietary education. Plans to resolve these problems and policies for necessary economic activities (power to make money, use of private funds etc.) shall be specified.
Matters on local foods
The region of concern shall have its own unique and traditional dish.
Matters on agriculture, forestry,
and fishery industries
The region of concern shall have relevant industries in operation that produce the agricultural, forest and marine products essential to the unique local foods.
Matters on regional resources related
to local foods
The region of concern shall have certain regional resources such as culture, traditional crafts, art, nature, scenery, traditions, and wildlife that can be confirmed in connection with the local foods or the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries.
Matters on stories related to local foods
and the industries
The region of concern shall be capable of telling unique historical stories that can explain the relations between the local foods, agriculture, forestry and fishery industries and the related regional resources.
Matters on geographic regions
Regional spheres shall be set on either a single municipality or a unity of municipalities that are geographically or territorially or culturally bonded.
Matters on management

① Implementing body
A. Functioning body such as Japanese version of DMO(※1 ) that coordinates regional affiliates, or conference constituted mainly by Japanese DMO, or NPO shall exist as an implementing organization.
※1 Destination Management/Marketing Organization: An entity that works as a steersman for tourist destination production, cooperating with various parties concerned, settling strategies under a clear concept, and working adjustably to implement the strategies steadily
B. It is desirable that local public entities be included as members (※2) of the implementing body.
※2 The assumed members are as follows: Agricultural cooperatives, fisheries cooperatives, tourism associations, travel agents, passenger transportation services, chambers of commerce and industry, commercial and industrial associations, research institutions of universities and such, museums, culinary schools, restaurants, accommodations, souvenir shops, chefs, and advisors.

② Systems to secure maintenance and enhancement of quality
Certain system shall be prepared to implement follow-ups and improvement of progress statement to maintain and enhance quality.

③ Developing and obtaining human resources
A. A systematic scheme shall be in operation for developing and obtaining human resources to implement the efforts sustainably, including effective use of women and senior powers.
B. A systematic scheme shall be in operation for handing down local foods and agriculture, forestry and fishery industries, both of which are the core force of the “Savor Japan” Project.

Matters on preparations of the receiving
environment such as infrastructure
① Systematically provide preparations of restaurants, tourist facilities and accommodations to invite foreign tourists.
② Systematically provide preparations for a comfortable environment for foreign tourists (multilingual tourist information and menu displays, Wi-Fi environment, toilets, means of transportation in the region etc.).
Other related matters
In addition to the contents above, Effort Scheme may include matters given in the items below:
(1) Matters on effective use of Protected Geographic Indication System (GI)
(2) Matters on effective use of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) and Japan Heritage
(3) Matters on activities related to production operation and cooking
(4) Matters on export promotion of agricultural, forest and marine products and foods produced in the region concerned
(5) Matters on effective use of facilities of which the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries are in management, including direct sales depots, farmer owned restaurants, tourist farms, and farm-inns.


A Review Committee of experts appointed by the MAFF will carry out a review of the registered initiatives to determine whether the requirements are satisfied, and those with particularly outstanding plans will be certified by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as meeting the Savor Japan standard.

The relationship between certified locales and major elements

Welcome to Savor Japan!

Organizational diagram

Savor Japan Project Association

A Savor Japan Project Association will provide support to further the efforts of the project overall and increase the number of foreign tourists visiting certified Savor Japan areas. This support will include assistance to improve the effectiveness of local initiatives, workshops, dispatching experts who can help with specific challenges and needs, and promoting exchanges through network building.
By integrating strategic communications for the Savor Japan Project, information will be efficiently disseminated externally, providing a higher level of appeal and enhancing the brand power of Savor Japan.


Savor Japan Project Association