|Continuing to pass on, foster, and convey goods, experiences, and moments that have been carefully nurtured in Japan|
3. Propose opportunities for everyone to come into contact with nature.
8. Create nature-related jobs and employment opportunities through tour guides and the maintenance of mountain trails.
11. Donate 5% of sales from our tours for environmental conservation to maintain sustainable forests and ecosystems.
12. Use reusable wooden bento boxes for breakfast.
15. Carry out conservation activities for one of Japan’s largest Japanese oak communities.
This is who we are!
General Incorporated Association My Japan is an organization that helps the succession of Japanese culture and traditions, consisting of a wide range of members, including craftspeople and instructors involved in Japanese culture, traditional performing artists, traditional artists, and tourism operators for foreigners.
We create cultural experience programs, plan and produce performances and events, and create contents for festivals and sightseeing tours to provide a variety of people, from children to foreigners, with the opportunity to enjoy learning about the charms of Japan. We are working to preserve Japanese traditions and culture and pass them on to the next generation.
Despite concerns about overtourism in recent years, Hiroshima has been facing challenges as a day-trip tourist destination, with low overnight stay rates. In order to solve this problem, General Incorporated Association My Japan has developed the Asageshiki Tour, a guided early-morning tour to experience the nature and history of Hiroshima, featuring Mt. Futaba, a 10-minute walk from Hiroshima Station. By selling this tour in collaboration with accommodation operators, we are contributing to extending the length of stay of tourists and to a ripple effect on the local economy.
The tour allows participants to experience the rich nature of Mt. Futaba, which has been enjoyed by the people of Hiroshima for many years, with all five senses in the clear morning air, accompanied by a dedicated guide. In the mountain, participants can condition their mind through yoga or forest bathing, and at the top of the mountain, they can enjoy breakfast and an open-air tea ceremony with a spectacular view of the city of Hiroshima and many beautiful islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
This breakfast is made from ingredients produced in Hiroshima, promoting local production for local consumption. We have developed the menu in collaboration with a local company, Marumi Bento Co., Ltd., and we also cater to vegetarians and others so that everyone can enjoy the food of Hiroshima. In consideration of environmental issues, the breakfast is served in custom-made reusable wooden bento boxes.
Through the tour, we also carry out maintenance and conservation activities of Mt. Futaba. Mt. Futaba is rich in virgin forest, which is rare in Japan, and is home to one of the largest Japanese oak communities in Japan. In recent years, however, it has become difficult for people to visit the mountain due to deterioration over time. Accordingly, we began maintenance activities of the mountain trail in 2019, and a total of 400 local volunteers have participated in the activities so far.
We donate 5% of sales from the tour fee to Mt. Futaba, and from the donated funds, we secure the costs for volunteers’ activities, etc., to sustain monthly maintenance activities. Since the mountain trail has been repaired, the comfort of visitors has been improved, making it possible for people of various ages, from children to the elderly, to visit the mountain. Building such a cyclical system that links the tour with environmental conservation activities will lead to a better future for the community.
We also contribute to the creation of employment opportunities through the implementation of the tour. We offer flexible employment opportunities so that anyone can work, as our guides, half of whom are migrants or people from outside the prefecture, coming from a wide range of age groups. We place importance on the areas of expertise and qualifications of each guide, and support them so that they can demonstrate their fullest potential.
By conveying the history and culture of Hiroshima through the tour, we hope to increase the number of tourists and encourage the creation of a sense of identity among the residents of the prefecture while building a sustainable business model and achieving lasting development through environmental conservation activities in cooperation with the local community.
By collaborating with administrative agencies and tourism-related operators in Hiroshima Prefecture, as well as with Hiroshima Toshogu Shrine, we adopt more diverse perspectives on the SDGs. Also, we interview our stakeholders about their initiatives on the SDGs to help us make improvements.
Not only the guides but also the members involved in the tour actively participate in the maintenance activities of Mt. Futaba so that they can develop interests and concerns in the environment and the local economy.
General Incorporated Association My Japan
4-7-7 Jonohori, Kumano-cho, Aki-gun