Agritourism or agrotourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Young people around the world visit Japan’s agricultural areas for its Technology, Animation and Manga and or Electronics. Japan's agritourism and activity based tourism appears to have going one step ahead in welcoming the global young people not only to see and experience what Japan has to offer but also the places where actually they can get employed too.
Agritourism has different definitions in different parts of the world, includes a wide variety of activities, including engaging in farming activities and buying produce direct from a farm stand, navigating a corn maze, slopping hogs, picking fruit, feeding animals, or staying at a bed and breakfast (B&B) on a farm. Other terms associated with agritourism are "agritainment", "value added products", "farm direct marketing" and "sustainable agriculture".
Many governments of countries around the world, especially Japan have provided good support structures that operate better than the existing ones to attract youngsters into agriculture and the location traditions. The Japan agritourism industry has attracted global youngsters to actively participate in farming, learning the Japanese food traditions by activity based tour programs along with entertainment aspects. Recently Ibaraki Prefecture and JTB corporation in Japan co-organized a agri-activity tourism for foreign students in Japan. Approximately 25 plus students from different countries participated in the tour. The tour participants had the fun filling - fully packed schedule for exploring the Tour contents.
The tour program was for 2 days - from an early morning departure from Tokyo by bus. The first stop was to experience the knowledge and as well learn how to make Japanese traditional paper called as “Washi”. Washi is referred to Japanese handmade paper produced in a traditional manner. Papermaking was first brought to Japan by Buddhist monks but Japan quickly became the leading producer of paper. Traditionally the Washi making process was undertaken by farmers as a seasonal task , crops were planted along with their regular crops. The farmers would process the crops into paper during the months when it was to cold for them to work outside. Ibaraki has a great historical place of Washi.
Followed by a Traditional BBQ lunch called Hiryori, in a traditional and Old Fashioned Grass (Kayabuki) house and visiting the Fukuroda Falls , farmers market
• Day 1 also included to enjoy and experience the Japanese Hotspring - called as Onsen. Ibaraki has natural spa`s attracting most domestic travelers. The past few years have seen the arrival of a handful of stylish luxury spa resorts, and some mid-range options where guests benefit from a hands-on, personal approach.
• Day 2 filled with packed schedules of Harvesting Taro (Satoimo) Potatoes, Match - Green Tea Harvesting & Making Rice Balls , onigiri (for lunch)and then fruit Persimmon Harvesting , the visitors/tourists had bag full of persimmon s picked direct from the farm. The last but not least every visitor appears to have enjoyed the Chestnut Jam Shopwhich produces purely japan grown chest nut jam.
Apart from Tsukuba science research center, Ibaraki-Blessed with fertile earth, the ocean, mountains, and a mild climate, Ibaraki is a cornucopia for abundant foodstuffs. Ibaraki boasts the highest production of agricultural products such as melons, lotus roots, and Green peppers nationally. Each region inside the prefecture utilizes their area’s specific characteristics in order to produce various agricultural and marine products, including sea food. Also, Ibaraki food produce has the highest turnover nationally at Tokyo Wholesale Market for twelve years in a row. As a base provider of food for the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Ibaraki continues to offer high quality and fresh foodstuffs. Thus Ibaraki owning the credit of being nearest prefecture to Tokyo while being capable of delivering agricultural products along with Japanese tradition .