Other List of examples

Enjoy the experience of travel while at home thanks to Ouchi Sokutabi, a delivery service designed to bring the good food and local charm of travel destinations to your doorstep.

With the aim of “making meaningful experiences out of travel’s chance encounters,” Orange Co., Ltd. (Narita, Chiba Prefecture) developed Sokutabi, a one-stop travel service that offers everything from deciding on travel destinations to arranging tickets and accommodation. Orange’s managing director, Kotaro Kai, gradually expanded the business by making use of the knowledge he had gained from working in travel planning and promotion.

However, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the service came to a standstill. It was during this time that the company launched Ouchi Sokutabi, which offers home delivery of goods such as local specialty products, sweets and artisanal jizake along with related tourist information. We asked Mr. Kai how this initiative came about, what kind of response he’d seen from customers, and the company’s future prospects.

Sharing the story of Hiroshima through cycling tours – Online tours for school groups!

Hiroshima is one of the most popular destinations in Japan for both domestic and international tourists. Among all the options for class trips, group tours and private travel, cycling tours offered by Sokoiko! (“Let’s go there!”) are gaining attention. Traveling by bicycle allows visitors to see not only the atomic bomb memorial sites, but normal daily life in downtown Hiroshima.

Although the tour was initially aimed at international visitors, the program became popular with domestic tourists due to the efforts made during the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked with tour guide and Company Director Satoshi Ishitobi about the background of this project.

Taxi driver with over 100,000 followers on social media opens door to recovery for business in the red

Sanjo Taxi Co., Ltd. (Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture) is a community-based taxi company that was established in 1943. For eighty years, it has been a successful business providing lifts to local people, especially the elderly.

However, the spread of COVID-19 in 2020 had a huge impact on the company. With people no longer leaving their homes or taking taxis to go out drinking, business plummeted.

Rookie driver Hiyori Kariya, popularly known as Hiyorin, turned to social media to help her get through this tough time. We asked Kariya and Sota Watanabe, president and CEO of Sanjo Taxi, about what prompted this, the changes that have come with it, and the company’s future prospects. What were the new measures the company took during the pandemic?

Virtual tours for international tourists, with online forest bathing in the Japanese garden of a famous hotel!

The NPO itswellness (Chuo Ward, Tokyo), whose name is stylized in lowercase, plans and sells wellness tours with a focus on “forest bathing.” Established as a travel agency in February 2020, they were immediately hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — circumstances that caused each new step they took to stall. Faced with these challenges, the company changed its approach to offer virtual tours online. First, they delivered their “Tokyo Now” program to would-be international tourists who were unable to visit Japan. We talked with Yukako Kimura, Director and Travel Coordinator, and Kenji Murai, Strategic Planning Leader, about the background of their business and their innovative forest bathing virtual tours.

Breathing new life into Tama campgrounds with the aim of increasing overnight visitors, and launching sustainable community development with tours that teach about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Good Life Tama Co., Ltd. (Tachikawa City, Tokyo) operates a website and designs and produces brochures with information about the Tama area of western Tokyo. They hope to enrich the lives of people living in the area through the sharing of area-specific information. The company’s managing director, Makoto Takagi, has launched a new initiative to make the Tama area an attractive place many people will visit, with the income produced from it used to help create a sustainable community. We asked him about the circumstances that led to the initiative and the company’s future outlook.

Cancellations turned into opportunity: behind-the-scenes bus depot tour delights hardcore fans and captures the hearts of new ones!

Meihan Kintetsu Travel Co., Ltd. (Chuo Ward, Nagoya, Aichi) was founded over 90 years ago as Ogaki Motors. Following a January 2020 brand merger with bus tour operator Mie Kotsu Company Ltd., it expanded operations to include bus tours in three central-Japan prefectures under the name Kakko Palook. Almost immediately afterwards, however, the COVID-19 pandemic worsened and most tours were canceled. The company responded by creating of a new day tour that allowed guests to see up close the out-of-operation buses lined up in the depots. Bus enthusiasts gave their overwhelming support, and the tours sold out despite the pandemic. We talked with the staff about the project background, their personal experiences, and how they transformed strange circumstances into a successful product.

Historic sake brewery reduces product line and expands recognition of the Chie Bijin brand, growing in domestic and overseas markets. Thanks to international fans, exports reach twelve countries.

Atsuyuki Nakano is the sixth-generation owner of Nakano Shuzo (Kitsuki City, Oita Prefecture), a historic sake brewery that has operated since 1874. This brewery has been known as the maker of Chie Bijin, which was named after the wife of the first owner, for 148 years. Despite the heavy impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift in modern society away from drinking sake, the forecast for their future is bright following bold decisions to reduce the product line to a single brand and to leap into the international market. We talked with Nakano about the inspiration behind their business strategies.

For the day when demand for overseas travel recovers, a smartphone app that eliminates travel concerns all at once

Event Lab Co., Ltd. (Shibuya, Tokyo), which operates Turkish Air & Travel, is one of the few travel agencies in Japan specializing in travel to Turkey. Thanks to the excellent quality of its tours and its personable service, the company has enjoyed steady growth; right up until the COVID-19 pandemic, it was providing support to 3,000 people a year traveling to Turkey. In 2020, however, just as the company was going from strength to strength, the pandemic struck. We spoke with Turkish Air & Travel representative Cem Cakaloz about how the company came up with a smartphone app as a contactless means of providing the same high-satisfaction service.

“Workation,” a new style of working during the pandemic that balances work and leisure, promotes the island lifestyle of Shikinejima and contributes to local revitalization.

At a time in which preventing the spread of coronavirus and boosting the economy are both essential, a new style of working known as “workation” has been attracting a lot of attention. “Workation,” a portmanteau of “work” and “vacation,” means to take a break from working at the office or home and instead work while on vacation. Shikinejima, one of a number of Izu islands administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, was an early adopter of the workation concept. We spoke with Shimoi Katsuhiro, a key figure behind the Shikinejima Area Management Coworking Space initiative (Niijima, Tokyo), about how the workation venture came about and its future prospects, as well as his thoughts on regional revitalization.

From online training to attracting tourists to Okinawa, karate tourism evolves during coronavirus pandemic

Ageshio Japan Co., Ltd. (Naha, Okinawa Prefecture) is a travel company that offers karate tourism services, such as karate-themed dojo stays and tours of Okinawa, the birthplace of the martial art. In collaboration with over 400 karate dojos within the prefecture, Ageshio Japan provides karate practitioners and enthusiasts living overseas with various opportunities that combine Okinawa tourism and karate. In line with this, a four-day seminar the company held not long before the outbreak of coronavirus succeeded in attracting some 200 participants. Now, impacted by the spread of the virus, the company has come up with the new idea of online training.

Implementation of phone-order shopping service with Matsuya’s unique request order service

In November 2020, the fresh food section of Ginza Matsuya (Chuo City, Tokyo) started a “shopping agency service” that accepts orders over the phone and delivers them on the same day by taxi, in partnership with Checker Cab Co., Ltd. Ginza Matsuya is loved for its high-quality and distinctive product lineup, such as Ozaki beef, of which only 2 cows are produced every month. We interviewed Mr. Katsutoshi Imai, the organizer, about this service.

Publicizing the safety of Tokyo’s sightseeing buses by sharing a fact that is common knowledge in the industry — buses can be fully ventilated in 5 minutes

The chartered bus industry has been badly affected by postponements and cancellations of group tours and restrictions on movement brought about by Japan’s state of emergency. Bus companies belonging to the general incorporated Tokyo Bus Association (Shibuya, Tokyo) are no exception, with a significant reduction in income having been forced upon them. Under these circumstances, the association has taken steps to publicize the safety of its buses regarding coronavirus based on information that is common knowledge within the industry. We spoke to Mr. Ueda, the association’s chairman, about these initiatives and asked about the current situation and future of the tour bus industry

Remote sightseeing bus tour of Komatsu in Ishikawa Prefecture attracts 67,000 fans during coronavirus pandemic.

In May 2020, during Japan’s nationwide state of emergency, staff at Dwango Co., Ltd. (Chuo-ku, Tokyo) launched a remote tourism initiative by driving around tourist destinations in a bus and broadcasting what they experienced live on Dwango’s own Niconico Live video-sharing service. We spoke with Noguchi Yutaro, the man behind the project, about how the initiative came about.

Attracting tourists with cutting-edge technology: Highly immersive virtual reality video promotes “Kyoto by the Sea.”

NTT Learning Systems, based in Minato City, Tokyo, is a solutions provider for various learning environments, such as corporate training and school education, that is also engaged in creating video content. In collaboration with the city of Miyazu in Kyoto Prefecture, the company recently produced a virtual reality video for tourism purposes with the concept of “Kyoto by the Sea.” The project has been attracting attention as a new initiative to boost tourism during the coronavirus pandemic and even after.