Brunei participant gets taste of Japanese gastronomy tourism

Lyna Mohamad

Twelve participants joined the week-long Sustainable Tourism: Gastronomy Tourism workshop last month.

The event was organised for management-level stakeholders in tourism from ASEAN member states, to learn about gastronomy tourism in Wakayama Prefecture.

Mulia Hotel Operations Director Iswandi bin Maaruf represented Brunei at the event organised by the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) from November-23.

The workshop included lectures on Japan’s recent overseas travel market trend and gastronomy tourism at Wakayama University, where participants presented on the gastronomy tourism in their countries.

Participants visited gastronomy tourism sites in Wakayama, arranged with the support of the Wakayama Prefectural Government.

While Buddhist vegetarian food served at Shukubo (temple lodging) in Koyasan is a famous gastronomic attraction, Wakayama on the other hand has many more gastronomic tourism attractions.

Participants experienced fruit picking, tuna bidding, making canned tuna, and visited a unique agritourism venue, and a traditional soy sauce manufacturer in Yuasa town, the birthplace of soy sauce.

The group also visited Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, which promotes the world heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route in a sustainable manner with the local community.

Gastronomy tourism, which is sometimes referred to as ‘from farm to table,’ can provide a variety of experienced-based activities starting from growing and harvesting food ingredients to cooking and tasting food.

These activities are suitable for repeat-travellers who seek unique experiences and can be applied in the ASEAN member states to further provide programmes for visitors to experience and better understand the local food and culture.

Iswandi bin Maaruf in a group photo. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD