Wed, Dec 7, 2016 | updated 11:52 PM IST

Japan promotes its food, culture to attract foreign tourists

Updated: Jul 12, 2016 15:16 IST

Tokyo, July 12 (ANI): Japan organizes Washoku World Challenge, an annual contest of Japanese cooking for foreign chef.

Last year's winner was Gonzalo Santiago Bautista, a chef from Mexico. He was astonished as many foreign chefs are not getting expertise in Japanese cuisine. After winning in last competition,

Gonzalo was spotlighted by media and his restaurant business picks up.

He believes the glorious certification made him an honorable banquet chef and missionary of Washoku.

Similarly, two years ago, the winner was Thailand's Jaran Deephuak. His restaurant 'Nanohana' gets big fame in Bangkok afterword.

"Washoku is a healthy cuisine, associated with the four seasons of the nature. The most important thing is to cook cordially and wholeheartedly," said Jaran Deephuak from Nanohana Restaurant Bangkok.

This year, the contestants will compete on Ichiju-issai the basic style in Japanese cooking that consists of a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, and one dish.

After preliminary nomination, 10 finalists are invited to Tokyo final competition in December.

All finalists will have the opportunities to participate in various training courses to learn about the finest in Japan before and after the competition.

Washoku is listed as an intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

The Washoku World Challenge has been established as the biggest and authorized Japanese cuisine competition.

Washoku World is the password for foreign Washoku chef. Everyone should make check Washoku World 2016 on the internet.

Such events also attract more tourists towards Japan. By the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan is aiming to have 40 million foreign tourists annually.

JCB, the international credit card brand that originated in Japan is planning various promotional activities for its over 21 million users overseas.

"JCB is currently expanding, centered in East Asia and Southeast Asian territories. Now, visiting Japan is trendy and becoming a boom. As a Japanese brand, we strive to create policies that enable our clients to enjoy their visit in Japan," added Sales Promotion Department JCB International Co., Ltd., Yi Wang.

Based on the policy that JCB's overseas members are entitled to enter for free, over 30,000 tourists from overseas have benefited from it.

JCB has been practicing similar policies in more than 10 locations all over the country. Shopping is one of the pleasures of visiting Japan.

Partnered with large appliance stores, popular drugstores, and well-known department stores, JCB implements promotional campaigns to supply products with high-quality at a discounted price.

AEON Mall Narita, a shopping mall that exists near the airport, has become popular among overseas tourists.

With fully equipped bus terminals, it has easy access to the airport and travel agencies have also made this shopping mall part of their tour route.

"Including our overseas branches, AEON has over 160 retail stores. Through those stores, posters, or SNS such as DM, Facebook, we want to convey a message: "Welcome to Japan, welcome to AEON." We are pleased to see more and more clients visiting," said Senior manager Corporate Communications Aeon Co. Ltd., Otsuka Satoshi. (ANI)