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 of 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.
The 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.
Tokachi, the largest farming area (approx. 3,600㎢) in Hokkaido, is an enormous plain surrounded by 2000-meter-high mountains with the Hidaka mountains to the west and Daisetsuzan to the north where you can enjoy the magnificent sense of openness unique to Hokkaido. One of the key attractions is the agricultural and livestock products raised on the soft, nutrient-rich volcanic ash soil with the longest daylight hours in the country. People come to enjoy the rich cheese made from high-fat raw milk in Tokachi, where the majority of natural cheese in Japan is produced.
The origin of the "mochi dining culture" dates back 400 years to the Hansei era when the Date-han offered up mochi to the gods every month in prayers for peace and health.
Later, hare-no-shoku (celebratory cuisine) included the practice of making and eating mochi on important days during life and at the end of seasons, including important family ceremonies and on New Year's Day, which is still going on today.
Even in Japan, the opportunity to experience the traditional food rituals of Ichinoseki-Hiraizumi is scarce.
Surrounded by mountains, fields, rivers and the sea, Tsuruoka city is rich in seasonal blessings.
With more than 50 varieties of indigenous produce including dadachi-mame and Atsumi turnip, superior varieties of "living cultural treasures" are the inheritance of this region. Even today, a unique food culture and family ceremonial dining/local cuisine that is closely related to the spiritual culture of shugendo and Kurokawa Noh from the Three Mountains of Dewa is still being passed down in this region.
Maze River sweetfish are highly regarded for being delicious.
The reason for this is that the delicious sweetfish are protected by local inhabitants. Since the 1940s, they have systematically stocked and managed the sweetfish, while also proactively engaging in volunteer activities, such as river cleaning activities and assigning surrounding forests as "fish-protecting forests." The inhabitants of this area have spared no effort in order to protect the flavor of the sweetfish.
For more than a thousand years, traditional agriculture and farming culture has been passed down in Nishi-Awa, Shikoku, the historical site of such legends as Heike Ochudo.
The traditional food culture, which centers on long-standing products such as grains, soba (buckwheat) and potatoes, can still be felt in the lives of the people, who are known as the "people of the sky."
The mountain villages that spread out like a fan across the steep mountain range are so beautiful that they can rightly be called "paradise on earth."
The 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