Yamagata Study Tour Debriefing Session held at TUFS

April 12, 2019

On Friday the 8th of March (2019), a debriefing session was held for the “Study Tour for Developing and Revitalization of Regions” course made possible thanks to the cooperation of the Yamagata Prefecture’s Sagae City and Iide Town.

This course was designed with the aim of offering students the chance to consider the structural problems facing Japanese society, and investigate inbound promotion plans contributing to the development of these regions together with the local community, and was held in both Sagae City and Iide Town during the 2018 academic year winter quarter. This time’s debriefing session was held so the participating students, who were split up over the two regions, could share their achievements with each other.

During this course, which was held in January and February 2019, regular and international students from TUFS stayed in either Sagae City or Iide Town.

Students who stayed in Sagae City learnt about the region’s history, culture and current industries, and managed booths at the “4th Yamagata Snow Festival” (Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd of February). Students also interacted with and discussed inbound promotion with locals by assisting elderly folk in snow shoveling, visiting the Jionji Temple and visiting elementary schools.

Students who stayed in Iide Town split into groups to participate in problem-based learning activities. In these activities, students thought of exportation strategies for local rice, created tourism plans, thought of ways to create effective advertisements and created promotional content. In addition to this, students participated in the Nakatsugawa Snow Festival (Saturday 23rd February) by managing snow hut building booths and food stands.

The results of this tour have been published through the official TUFS Yamagata Study Tour blog and Instagram.
TUFS Yamagata Study Tour Website: https://tufsyamagata.jp/
Sagae City Study Tour Instagram ( @ sagae_studytour): https://www.instagram.com/sagae_studytour

This study tour was possible thanks to the cooperation of JTB Global Marketing & Travel Inc. (JTBGMT) the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the Yamagata Prefecture.

At the debriefing session, following an opening address from head of the TUFS Study Tour Program Professor SHINOHARA Taku (Institute of Global Studies), the participating students presented on their activities during the study tour and the results of their problem-based learning activities (recommendations to companies and local governments), with Sagae City students presenting first, and Iide Town students second. The students received many comments from the municipality representatives.

This debriefing session was attended by many people including representatives from the two municipalities, Yamagata Prefecture, JETRO Yamagata and JTBGMT. Also in attendance was TUFS alumnus/creator of the Yamagata Study Tour, Mr. ARAKAWA Shoshi (advisor at Bridgestone Corporation), and a number of students and faculty from TUFS.

Students presenting on the Sagae City Study Tour
Students proposing strategies for exporting Iide rice
Students presenting on tourism plans for Iide Town
Students proposing effective advertising for Iide Town
Student presenting ideas for promotional content for Iide Town
A slide on Nakatsugawa Snow Festival