Aiming to reach 51 million tourists in Nara Prefecture by 2025, launching the “Japanese Food Pilgrimage: Nara ” promotion project ~The roots and DNA of Japanese food are in Nara~

Nara New Learning Travel Promotion Council
Aiming to reach 51 million tourists in Nara Prefecture by 2025, launching the “Japanese Food Pilgrimage: Nara” promotion project ~The roots and DNA of Japanese food are in Nara~
Developing and providing a new journey to experience the history, culture and nature of Nara

The Nara New Study Trip Promotion Council “Pilgrimage to Japanese Food Mecca / Nara Promotion” project aims to increase the attractiveness of tourism in Nara and revitalize tourism attraction. We will start activities to build a new brand image for Nara based on the concept of “Are in”.
This project is centered on the * Nara New Learning Travel Promotion Council, and is a sake brewing research by Nara Prefecture Ryokan, Hotel Life Sanitation Trade Association, Misho no Kai (Ayumikai), Bodaimoto * 1 (Bodaimoto). Kai*2, Kaigo Ururu (Communication & Branding Director) and other members will start recruiting more participants in the prefecture in the future.
The activity period is scheduled for 5 years (2022-2026), with the 2025 Osaka/Kansai Expo in mind.
* “Nara New Learning Travel Promotion Council” consists of the Nara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nara University of Education, Nara Prefecture Ryokan/Hotel Life Hygiene Association, Nara Prefecture Visitors Bureau, Nara City Tourism Association, Nara Prefecture, Nara City, and local guides. Collaborative body of industry, academia, government, and private sector in which organizations cooperate. [Image 1

In this project, we will develop a trial tour product that will serve as a signboard for “Japan’s sacred food pilgrimage / Nara promotion” while soliciting the participation of food, accommodation,
travel-related businesses and sake breweries in Nara Prefecture. Positioning Nara Prefecture, where many of the origins of Japanese food culture are still alive today, as a “mecca of food*3”, we will provide information and tour products that allow domestic and foreign tourists to actually taste and experience the roots of food. Through this provision, we aim to improve Nara’s branding and tourism value. The product development business of this project has been adopted as the 2022 Japan Tourism Agency’s “Creation of profitable signboard products for the region that utilizes unique regional tourism resources.”
The number of tourists coming to Nara Prefecture fell to about 22.8 million*4 in 2020 due to the corona crisis (2019/45.02 million). This project will contribute to the prefecture’s target of 51 million tourists by 2025.
[Activity plan for 2022]
“Eating Nara means eating Japan-The roots and DNA of Japanese food are in Nara-” is the communication catchphrase. to start product development.
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We will hold events and tour products (signboard products) to visit places where each roots and DNA are alive and experience the actual taste. Specifically, perform the following 1. to 3.
1. Establishment of a special site for NARA, a pilgrimage to Japan’s sacred food sites
We will open a special website with columns on the mecca of food, Nara, pilgrimage tours where you can have special experiences, valuable information, convenient maps, etc.
2. Pilgrimage to Japan’s sacred food sites and development of NARA flagship products
We will develop and demonstrate lodging-type high-value-added travel products based on “Japan’s sacred food pilgrimage, NARA” that combines 1 to 3 below.
・ Pilgrimage to sacred places 1 “Experience the origins of Japanese sake at Shoryaku-ji, the birthplace of Japanese sake – a special experience of the Bodaimoto Sake Festival”
Once a year in January, breweries in Nara Prefecture, which belong to the Nara Prefectural Bodaimoto Sake Brewing Research Group, prepare shubo on the premises and bring the shubo back to the brewery to brew sake. You can participate in this festival, which is held only here in Japan, on a guided bus tour.
・Pilgrimage to sacred places 2 “Eat healthy in the birthplace of gastronomy-Special experience of sake and Nara food marriage and talk show”
A talk show style meal where you can fully enjoy the marriage of sake and Nara’s food culture under the theme of “Nara’s traditional gastronomy”.
・Pilgrimage to sacred places 3 “Making original spice curry powder – a special experience of making my own curry powder with the
24th-generation owner of a Kampo pharmacy founded in 1184”
“Making Gaya powder” is taught by the owner, who knows all about spices and herbal medicines. You can mix 20 kinds of spices with various medicinal effects, such as regulating blood circulation and gastrointestinal function. Yasumasa Kikuoka, the twenty-fourth generation owner of Kikuoka Kampo Pharmacy.
3. Activities linked to the “Gastronomy Tourism World Forum (7th)” From December 13th to 15th, 2022, the 7th Gastronomy Tourism World Forum will be held in Japan for the first time. The venue will be Nara Prefecture, and famous chefs, tourism officials, and embassy officials from all over the world will participate.
・Announcement by the Gastronomy Tourism Agency
(Postponed to December due to Corona)
Campaign 2022 Plus, a nationwide travel support program for Nara Prefecture, focuses on sake, which is the main theme of this year’s activities. Spice) and seasoning-related shops will be rolled out at about 35 stores.
*The “Imanara Campaign 2022 Plus” is unique to the prefecture and is added to the discount rate, coupon amount, etc. for nationwide travel support. Discounts for accommodation and travel within the prefecture will be extended to nationwide users. For hotel guests, we will issue an “Imanara. Regional Coupon” that can be used to purchase souvenirs, eat and drink, etc.
Details →
You can get a 50% discount on travel products in Nara Prefecture by presenting a certificate such as having been vaccinated for the third time.
(40% for national travel support, 10% for Nara Prefecture’s unique addition. For accommodation or day trip plans, the maximum discount is 5,000 yen. For travel packages with transportation, the maximum discount is 8,000 yen.)
*1 Bodaimoto
It is a traditional method of making shubo (moto), which is said to have originated in Nara during the Muromachi period.
Bodaimoto is the oldest yeast starter in Japan. It is believed that the origin of the name is because the technique was established at Mt. Bodaisan Shoryaku-ji played a central role in brewing at the temple and established the concept of shubo, which is why this area is said to be the birthplace of Japanese sake.
*2 “Research Group for Refined Sake Production by Bodaimoto, Nara Prefecture” (Bodaimoto Research Group)
In 1996, volunteers from young breweries in Nara Prefecture at the time gathered and established the Nara Prefecture Bodaimoto Sake Brewing Research Group (Bodaiken). Starting with research on how to make Bodaimoto and its materials, he led the revival of sake brewing at the Bodaimoto temple together with Bodaisan Shoryaku-ji Temple and the Nara Prefectural Industrial Technology Center (now the Nara Prefectural Industrial Promotion Center). Finally, on December 11, 1998, the brewing license was granted, and temple brewing was revived. For more than 20 years, we have been making “Bodaimoto” jointly every year. Reference from the Bodaiken website *3 Mecca of food
“Washoku”, which was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage as a traditional Japanese food culture, has many of its roots in Nara from 1300 years ago. With this in mind, Nara is positioned as a “mecca of food”.
During the Nara period, although it was limited to the nobles, seasonings began to be used, and food changed from satisfying hunger to eating deliciously. The roots of “gourmet food” were born in Nara. “Umami” is one of the cultural heritages of Japanese cuisine. 1,300 years ago, “Hishio”, the base of soy sauce, was used in Nara cuisine. Manyoshu and wooden strips excavated from Heijo-kyo also have descriptions, which give us a glimpse of the eating habits of those days.
It is also said that sake was born from doburoku in Nara (Shorakuji Temple). There is also a theory that when Nobunaga treated Ieyasu to cherry blossom viewing, he served Nara sake. By tracing and learning the DNA of Japanese cuisine in Nara (food pilgrimage), we aim to deepen understanding and interest in Japanese cuisine.
*4 The number of tourists to Nara Prefecture, which fell due to the corona crisis (2019/45.02 million)
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*Tend to have a high interest in Nara’s history, culture, and nature. [Inquiries about this project/tour from business operators and the general public]
Secretariat of the Nara New Learning Trip Promotion Council “Japan’s Mecca of Food Pilgrimage: Nara” Promotion Project
(Inside the Social Science Lab (public corporation))
Address: 2-10-1 Tokijicho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture TEL: 0742-20-7807 E-mail:
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