Biodiversity / Food / Water

July 12, 2007


2006 Grand Prix Urban-Rural Exchange Awards Announced

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government Local government 

A non-profit organization comprising the Hands-On Tour Network Matsuura Party and the Matsuura Hands-on Tour Conference, headquartered in Nagasaki Prefecture in southern Japan, won the first prize (Prime Minister's Award) in the 2006 Grand Prix Urban-Rural Exchange Award competition the Urban-Rural Exchange Award Council announced on March 2, 2007. The council consists of businesses, non-profit organizations, local governments, private organizations and individuals that take an interest in the national government's policy to promote coexistence and exchanges between urban and rural areas in Japan.

With the purpose of introducing and promoting new lifestyles, the annual award was created in 2003 to give awards to outstanding initiatives promoting coexistence and exchanges between urban and rural areas in Japan. The Japanese title of the award is "O-rai Nippon" a play on the Japanese pronunciation of the English expression "all right" and a Japanese word "o-rai," meaning "coming and going," referring to the exchange between urban and rural areas.

The winner this year developed sightseeing tours in the Kita-matsuura Peninsula, Nagasaki Prefecture, where visitors and their hosts experience various hands-on activities together. The network is coordinated by a private-sector business and formed of participating groups in 13 areas, which together can accommodate up to 2,000 tourists daily. In 2006, more than 10,000 visitors participated in the program.

The hands-on program targets school trips, and provides students with the opportunity to experience farming and fishing in a natural setting with the participation of local people. Activities include seine net beach fishing, tree plantation thinning, dairy-farm chores, and making locally traditional noodles. Tourists can also enjoy home¡¡stay accommodations in rural communities. The program was chosen for its success in integrating agriculture and fishery with hands-on tourism, and contributing to rural community revitalization.

Posted: 2007/07/12 04:31:25 PM
Japanese version