Japan attracts world attention by promoting tourism and food

| Updated: Dec 23, 2016 18:16 IST

Yokohama [Japan], Dec.23 (ANI): Yokohama city represents a combination of traditional culture and modern technology. Sankei-en Garden in the city has many historical buildings that have been relocated from ancient capitals in Japan, such as Kyoto or Kamakura. The buildings, nature, and changing seasons are fabulously mixed together. In autumn, there are sensational maple or ginkgo leaves, and the contrast of the red and the yellow is enchanting. In addition to holding tea parties of traditional Japanese tea ceremony, there are places that are designed for enjoying authentic matcha or powdered green tea. A foreign tourist said, "Green tea was very good, awesome! Nice and very beautiful garden, well maintained, sign boards are very clear." A foreign photographer said, "I'm taking photographs of these Japanese gardens. I think it should be a World Heritage Site. I think this and Sensoji are the two best places in the Kanto region." Toshikazu Yoshikawa, an official at the Sankei-en Garden, said, "Inside Yokohama, Sankei-en Garden is the best spot where you can fully experience Japanese culture. There are many historical buildings inside the garden, such as places to experience Japanese tea ceremony or museums. It's an interactive facility that lets foreign visitors learn about Japan." To cater to the growing number of foreign visitors to Japan, JCB, an international card brand participated in an experiment that was organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan. As part of the program, at Fukuoka Airport located in Southern Japan, JCB is distributing the JCB Premo Card (For Tourists) with the value of 1000 Japanese yen which can be used in more than 300,000 member stores, and a designated smartphone application. By using the smart phone application, in addition to provide various tourist information to foreign visitors, the collected payment, user and log information that has been stored in the smart phone application after using the distributed Premo card is to be utilized for marketing purposes. A lucky draw campaign for JCB card members is also in progress. Starting in Asian areas, a lot of foreign JCB card members have benefited from it. Nobuhito Hanada, Senior Vice President, e-Business Development and Acquiring Infrastructure Department, JCB CO., said, "This service is designed to help service development for foreign visitors based on credit card information, application viewing information, or movement records. As a payment card brand, in order to let foreign visitors having a better shopping experience, especially in regional areas, JCB has collaborated with other Japanese firms to improve the infrastructure of the card using environment and providing a high level of services for visiting Japan that is only available with this international brand originated from Japan. At JCB, which is initiated at the JCB plazas at Tokyo and Kyoto, various domestic programs are in progress. It is highly recommended to become a JCB card member while visiting Japan." At the Washoku World Challenge 2016, the fourth occasion for the event, renowned chefs for Japanese cuisine competed against each other on cooking skills. With more than 105 applications of 22 countries from all over the globe, it has been an event at a high level. Ichiro Takahashi, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, said, "In recent years, with the popularity of Japanese cuisine in overseas, it's said that there are over 89,000 Japanese restaurants worldwide. With this as the backdrop, we look forward to have foreign chefs of Japanese cuisine participating in the competition and utilize the skills polished at the competition in their own countries. We think this as the meaningful part of the competition." The players who won through the preliminary round of the competition worked on rice and Miso soup that are the foundation of Japanese cuisine. In addition to the requirements of advanced techniques and creativities, manner and the handling of ingredients are also the subjects of judgment. Bryan S. Emperor, an American citizen, said, "Even before we touch the ingredient, very old and senior professionals are developing Miso, Kombu and Katsuobushi, Soy sauce. These ingredients before we even touch, those are developed to a very high level, so for Washoku, we have to use respect (Teinei) to treat them with care and produce a good taste." The winner was Cheong Cherng Long from Malaysia. The winning dish was Kenchin grilled black throat sea perch. Not only the taste, the dish was also praised for its presentation from the judges. Cheong Cherng Long, a Malaysian citizen, said, "I'm very excited. I've been planning this time to finish, I think it's OK. I am using my time, my ideas to present modern Japanese cuisine for my customer to know about what Washoku is." After the competition, the players enjoyed a meal that was prepared by chefs from Japan with the best ingredients. After absorbing much from the event, the players are going to play an important role in their own countries. (ANI)