Session ⁄ Event

02 Obanazawa

Session Information

Date and
Thursday, November 3rd, 2022(14:00~16:00)
Tokurako Nature Center
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This event has ended.
You can watch an archived video of this event.
Attendance is free
Tokurako Nature Center
Tokurako Nature Center Tokurako Nature Center

Event Report

Regional Forum
View of the event

During this Regional Forum, opinions were exchanged on the topic of sustainable tourism and the development of the tourism industry utilizing local resources.

On November 3rd, the first regional forum of the 2022 YAMAGATA Youth Summit 2022 was held at Lake Tokura Nature Center in Obanazawa City. The theme of the event was “The Lakes and Mines Protected by those who Came Before Us: Sustainable Tourism Utilizing Local Resources,” and a powerful dialogue was held. During the event, panelists exchanged riveting opinions about how to convey the charm of local resources as well as potential ways for the community to use them to aid in the process of revitalization.

One keyword that came up multiple times during the event was “sustainable.” In this context, “sustainable” was used in the frame of “sustainable tourism,” which is a way to promote the continuation of local life through the tourism industry. Here, sustainable tourism is not just about the environment but extends down, ensuring that on both societal and economic levels, tourism plays a supporting role in the continuation of the community and local practices.

Following the same train of thought, the historical sustainable legacy of Obanazawa City was introduced to the audience. After prospering as a silver mine in the Edo period, Ginzan Onsen became a hot spring resort. The nearly 400-year-old wooden inns built between the Taisho era and the Showa era are still popular to this day, and a large part of their allure is their historic charm. One panelist commented, "Our predecessors changed their businesses and work styles in line with the times and environment. This has made me think about the tourism industry in its present state, how we live, and the maintenance and development of this region moving forward.”

The significance of places and things change and evolve over time. Kaminohatayaki, a pottery art that was born in the late Edo period and revived in the Showa era after having been lost for nearly 150 years, is now used as a graduation gift for students at Kitamurayama High School. And while Lake Tokura is historically known as the birthplace of the traditional Hanagasa Ondo dance, today it is known as a place where many water activities can be enjoyed for leisure, such as sailing, canoeing, and paddle boating. A once historically significant place now serves as the training grounds for the Kitamurayam High School Sailing Club to learn to sail. This skill brought them all the way to qualify for the Asia Pacific Championships this last October.

These individual cases of sustainability and adaptation to the times sparked a great deal of discussion, with one panelist remarking that “culture is born from each of these activities and then passed on to younger generations where it is further refined. In such a way, the horizon for the future continues to expand.”

Hyoudou Ito

An introductory video message from Mr. Hyoudou Ito, the Director of the Kaminohatayaki Ceramic Art Center, who restored the Kaminohatayaki pottery style.

Ken Miura

Ken Miura, the facilitator of the four Regional Forums.

Hiroshi Haseyama

Mr. Hiroshi Haseyama, advisor and chairman of the Lake Tokura Yacht Club, says, "The club's mission is to pass on the culture of sailing."

Kentaro Koseki

Kentaro Koseki, the President of Ginzanso, explained the history of Ginzan Onsen and its current initiatives moving forward.

Kana Matsuura

Kana Matsuura of the Kaminohatayaki Ceramic Art Center described Ginzan Onsen as “a place that you can be proud to live near.”

The Kitamurayama High School sailing team

The Kitamurayama High School sailing team presenting their experiences at the Asia-Pacific Championships.

The Kitamurayama High School sailing team

The Kitamurayama High School sailing team presenting their experiences at the Asia-Pacific Championships.

Julie Baud

The brilliant Julie Baud strongly emphasized that sustainable tourism is not a theme, but a way of doing things.

Kaminohatayaki products such as old pottery shards and pottery stones

Ms. Matsuura showed us Kaminohatayaki products such as old pottery shards and pottery stones.

YouTube Live

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Regional Forum

The Lakes and Mines Protected by those who Came Before Us.
~Sustainable Tourism Utilizing Local Resources


  • Hyoudou Ito
    Video messages
    Director of Kaminohatayaki Pottery Center

    Hyoudou Ito

    Born in 1951 in Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, Hyoudou Ito is a potter who, for the first time in 150 years, helped revive Kaminohatayaki porcelain ceramics culture, which is rare in the Tohoku region. Kaminohatayaki is a form of ceramics that was created in the Tenpo period towards the end of the Edo. For three years, between 2001 and 2004, Ito visited Suifu Village in Ibaraki Prefecture to conduct research on Machida ware, which was promoted by Nariaki Tokugawa, the ninth lord of the Mito domain. Collecting ceramic tools and pottery fragments from historical sites and researching them, he has done his best to revive the ancient art.

    【Kaminohatayaki Pottery Center】
    Kaminohatayaki Pottery Center in Obanazawa City was opened during the Tenpo era using natural porcelain stones found near Kaminohata Village, which fell under the territory of the Nagatoro domain. The kilns were abandoned for around ten years, however, Hyoudou Ito worked hard to collect shards of porcelain, research them, and then revive the art from just the fragments.

  • Hiroshi Haseyama
    Lake Tokura Yacht Club

    Hiroshi Haseyama

    Hiroshi Haseyama was born in 1958 in Sakata City and graduated from Waseda University in 1981 after attending Yamagata Roku Middle School and Nihon University Yamagata High School. He started yachting at university and has participated in many large races, such as the All-Japan Intercollegiate and the Japanese National Athletic Meet, as well as several overseas races. In 2012, he founded the Tokurako Yacht Club, and in July 2022, he founded a general incorporated association and assumed the position of chairman. Today, he is the vice president of the Yamagata Sailing Federation as well as the CEO of Value Creation Co., Ltd

  • Kentaro Koseki
    Ginzanso Co., Ltd. President

    Kentaro Koseki

    A native of Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, Kentaro Koseki was born in 1983 and graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Tokai University. Following his graduation, he began his career in the hotel industry in Shiga Prefecture before joining Ginzanso Co., Ltd. in 2009. He was appointed as the Representative Director in 2018 and is currently engaged in tourism development and regional revitalization centered on Ginzan Onsen. In addition, he also serves as the vice president of the Ginzan Onsen Association.

  • Kana Matsuura
    Kaminohatayaki Pottery Center

    Kana Matsuura

    Kana Matsuura was born in 1973, and after graduating from the Nihon University Faculty of Law, studied pottery at Saga Prefectural Arita Ceramics College. After graduating, Matsuura returned to her hometown of Obanazawa and studied under her father, Ito Hyoudou, and is currently working at Kaminohatayaki Pottery Center. While she has inherited the tradition of Kaminohatayaki from her father, she also actively produces her own sets of modern tableware for everyday use as well as tea utensils.

    To help spread the art of Kaminohatayaki, she holds workshops and her other passion project is reviving broken pottery using the Kintsugi technique, binding shards of pottery together with smelted gold.

  • Kitamurayama High School Sailing Team
    Kitamurayama High School Sailing Team

    Tomoya Tomitsuka,Asahi Saito,Kaori Saito,Hibiki Hayasaka

    The Kitamura High School Sailing team started in earnest this spring and is based near Lake Tokura. Part of the reason for the founding or this team was make the school more attractive to prospective students as in recent years, the school had been suffering from a shortage of new students. The team's official race debut was this year in October at the Asia Pacific Championships (Hiroshima Kannon Marina) where they had three teams participate and complete all of the races.

  • Julie Baud
    Sustainable Tourism Advisor

    Julie Baud

    Originally hailing from Bordeaux, France, the impressive Julie Baud was born in 1990, and after graduating from the University of Bordeaux in 2016, she came to Japan to study at Kyoto University. After finishing her schooling, she decided to stay in Japan and get involved with inbound consulting and the tourism industry. Over the course of 2 years, she has been in charge of planning and managing "Glocal Hostel, Cafe & Bar" in Nagoya, and she has been active as a Chubu Inbound Sales Project secretariat and speaker at Kernel Concept Content Planning Office for a year and a half. Since 2020, she has been working as an inbound tourism expert at the Regional Branding Institute, and from July 2022, she launched her new “Sustainability x Local” tourism project that connects people from all over the world to the local heart of Japan.

Ken Miura
Facilitator Ken Miura Brand new day Co., Ltd. Representative ⁄ Branding Producer

Born in Yamagata in 1993, after graduating from Nihon University Yamagata Senior High School, Ken Miura studied abroad at the University of Washington in the United States. After consulting for sole proprietors, he ended up working in brand strategy consultation development for corporations. Currently, he mainly works on helping small and medium-sized enterprises formulate their missions and visions in order to discover and verbalize their unique values. His services cover a wide variety of fields including websites, advertisements, new business development, and recruitment,all of which lead back to him providing a total brand strategy that instills a strong internal company philosophy reflecting their values as companies.

Naoko Inoue
Host Naoko Inoue

Born December 28, 1974, in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, and raised in Kawanishi, Naoko Inoue is currently a proud resident of Nagai City. During her time as a student at Kunori Gakuen Girl's High School in Yonezawa, she transferred to Glendora High School in California, USA in 1991 before going on to study at California's very own Citrus College. In 1998, she returned to Japan after experiencing working at a travel agency in LA and trying her hand at the media talent industry.
Over the years, Inoue has worn many hats. Radio DJ, commercial narrator, lounge DJ, bilingual English and Japanese moderator, a TV reporter for YBC Yamagata Broadcasting, TUY, and SAY Sakurambo TV, a magazine model (Bi Story), an interpreter, and to top it all off, she is currently active as an English teacher at a nursery school as well as performing as one of the Yamagata Maiko. There are very few things that she hasn't done! In addition, she is one of the instructors of the Yamagata Prefectural Board of Education's "Learn from Professionals" program.


Planning and Management:Yamagata Shimbun