A panel discussion for creating sake tourism in Miyagi & Tohoku

Sake as the gateway to local tourism

Online panel discussion, London

25th February 2021

‘Sake tourism’ has the potential to expand beyond the walls of the brewery and into the surrounding region. Following a successful start-off event ‘Miyagi – A passage to Tohoku’ at the Embassy of Japan in the UK in 2020, INOUTBOUND in Miyagi commissioned by the National Tax Agency and Yoshitake & Associates UK teamed up again. This year, the team focused on creating inbound sake tourism to Miyagi in collaboration with Urakasumi Sake brewery. Are sake and breweries going to be an attraction to bring tourists from the UK and Europe? How could that be possible?

In order to conduct research, a selective panel of specialists from various fields were invited to a closed online discussion on the 25th February, and their precious insights and advice was collected to move towards the creation of a platform to support sake tourism in Miyagi and Tohoku. From Japan, Mr Koichi Saura of Urakasumi Brewery gave a presentation on his brewery and surrounding city of Shiogama and Matsuhima. Toshie Hiraide, a mastermind of the sake industry in Japan, also made a presentation on her efforts in exploring the overseas sake market. The panel consisted of Chris Ashton, Paul Farrelly, Kaylie Clark, Shuhei Kataoka from the UK and Marco Massarotto from Italy, and the discussion was chaired by Rie Yoshitake. They will all be engaged as Miyagi tourism ambassadors to create a flow of visitors to Tohoku in search of sake and its culture.