TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Rice Stable Supply Support Organization, a public interest incorporated association, held a media reception on February 16th entitled “The Appeal of Wachoshoku” (Japanese breakfasts). The event had the objective of increasing awareness of rice in meals and was aimed at tourists from abroad.
The number of overseas visitors to Japan surpassed 24 million last year and continues to reach record highs every year, with the latest figures showing nearly 2.3 million people visiting in January alone (up 24% in the same period from the previous year).
Since 2014, the Rice Stable Supply Support Organization has held annual events for non-Japanese media to promote Japanese cuisine (known as washoku), along with the foundational staple of washoku, which is rice. This year’s theme focused on traditional Japanese breakfasts, which incorporate national culture and a rich history, and gave foreign tourists from many countries the opportunity to experience a Japanese breakfast – wachoshoku.
The event attracted attendees from 8 countries – including Australia, China, the Philippines, the UK and the USA - from various international media as well as Japanese food related media. At the reception, Kanagawa University of Human Services University President Professor Teiji Nakamura addressed the audience with his professional point of view on nutrition on why Japanese breakfasts are superior for healthy longevity. He commented that, “Even with the diversification of the Japanese diet, it is the fact that Japanese rice has remained on the dining room table that has given Japanese people healthy longevity”.
After that, Tokyo’s number one international magazine, Metropolis, which has been running for over 20 years and provides the latest information to foreign residents, shared the results of a recent survey they held on recommended wachoshoku at hotels and ryokan (Japanese inns) throughout Japan. Lastly Hotel Okura Tokyo’s Yamazato restaurant conducted a short seminar on Japanese food etiquette, while guests were served a wachoshoku breakfast set consisting of rice as the main dish, along with miso soup, grilled fish and a number of side dishes.
One attendee from an international media outlet remarked that although they felt they knew a lot about Japanese cuisine - washoku - in general, they didn’t know much about wachoshoku and this gave them a deeper understanding and they found it interesting with the knowledge of the culture being reflected in the meal. Another commented that they learnt a lot about the details of the nutritional information in the meal and felt they learnt more about the health advantages of wachoshoku.
Results of an opinion poll conducted by Japan’s most influential English-language magazine aimed at tourists and foreign residents in Japan.
Summary of survey results
- The reasons why foreigners chose Japanese breakfasts in Japan were for being “delicious” (56.3%) and “healthy” (50.5%). 47.3% of tourists were “excited about” eating Japanese rice. An overwhelming 81.8% of Chinese respondents stated that they “wanted to eat Japanese rice”.
- Respondents’ first impressions of experiencing wachoshoku included feeling they were “able to experience Japanese culture” (53.8%), thinking it was “healthy” (50.0%) and expressing surprise with there being “so many items” (49%).
- Japanese food that respondents enjoyed after trying for the first time included “grilled fish” (42.8%), miso soup (40.9%) and Japanese omelet (40.4%)
- Recommended hotels and ryokan serving wachoshoku include the Hotel Okura Tokyo, Kyoto’s Ohara no Sato and Kameki in Nagano.
|Survey Name：||Survey on delicious Japanese breakfasts at hotel and ryokan|
|Survey Period：||December 9th - 28th, 2016|
|Survey Targets：||Tourists and foreign residents|
|(English speakers 159・Chinese 22・Koreans 26 / Tourists 114・Foreign Residents 93）|
"Recommended wachoshoku at hotels and ryokan by tourists and foreign residents in Japan"
Minato Ku, Tokyo Hotel Okura Tokyo's Yamazato
Chuo-Ku, Tokyo Mandarin Oriental Tokyo's Oriental Lounge
Minato-Ku, Tokyo Grand Tokyo Nikko Daiba's Oshima
Hakone-machi, Kanagawa Senkei Yamagaso
Kyoto City, Kyoto Kyoto Brighton Hotel's Hotaru
Kyoto City, Kyoto, Oohara no Sato
Kita-ku, Osaka Hotel New Hankyu Osaka
Himeji City, Hyogo Yumenoian Yuyake Koyake
Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Mukaitaki
Chikuma City, Nagano Kamesei
* Selection was based on responses from survey participants as well as Metropolis staff writers