To promote tourism to Tohoku, a region of Japan’s Honshu Island, Japan’s Reconstruction Agency has launched a Muslim-friendly Tohoku campaign.
The campaign is aimed at establishing the infrastructure necessary to receive Muslim inbound traffic in six prefectures of the Tohoku district. In addition, educational workshops were held at major hotels in Tohoku to deepen the understanding of the concept in order to create, and extend omotenashi (Japanese-style hospitality) to Muslim travellers.
For instance, the region has now introduced facilities such as prayer rooms, with more restaurants being able to provide Muslim-friendly meals, as well as created model tours featuring the region’s history and nature.
This campaign is a work in progress, and the Muslim-friendly Tohoku PR Japan office is hoping to further increase the number of facilities taking part in the campaign, in order to enhance Muslim tourists’ experiences.
Behind the development of the project is an increase in the number of Muslim people visiting Japan, and that number is expected to continue to increase as the Olympics loom.
For example, the number of tourists to Japan from two Muslim-majority Asian countries Indonesia and from Malaysia grew nearly threefold over four years from 2012 to 2016.