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Noto locals pin hopes on return of tourists to hasten quake recovery

29 Comments
By Donican Lam

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29 Comments
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Great to see international tourists have started heading up to the Noto Peninsula again. Their spending will definitely help the recovery of the region, and give hope to the locals.

More foreign tourists should make plans to include a trip soon to the Noto Peninsula to enjoy the amazing seafood, nature and hospitality.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

If it's the ghouls who want to sticky beak at other people's misfortune, sure there's plenty of those bottom feeders who'll head up there.

Otherwise it's a bit like some of the towns in Tohoku, i.e towns already slowly dyeing, No real reason to go there because there's not really much to see.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

What a ghastly photo! But I am confident that Noto will rebuild. That's what generations of Japanese have done before. These are tough people. I bet the fish and sake will be flowing to the tourists within a year.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Tourism so we can go take photos and videos of people's misery?

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Everything will return to recovery, matter of time..

GO JAPAN !!..

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It's going to take some time but if there's a country that can rebuild well, it's Japan. I'm sure tourism will bounce back in time.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Yep, the government should reinstate the old JR Rail Pass coat structure and build a themepark up there.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As the data compiled by NHK make clear, the Noto Peninsula is not, in the words of overly-sanguine Mr Koyama, going to "bounce back" from the 1/1 disaster.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20240124/k10014332181000.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everything will return to recovery, matter of time..

GO JAPAN !

Well said!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

My favourite thing about this area as someone who drove around it were the little towns with the houses with dark stained wooden siding and tiled roofs. A common complaint about Japan is that buildings are a higgedly piggedly mess of different styles and materials that is hard on the eye, but lots of nondescript and not "this way tourists!" towns on the Japan Sea side, not just in Noto, are quite charming. When they rebuild, I hope they do it this style (lightweight kawara roof tiles are not an earthquake risk) and not another mix of different coloured and textured plastic or metal siding that Tama Home, Eyeful Home, Aera Home, etc. fool people into thinking is "maintanence free". Much of the actual coastline features concrete reinforcement and tetrapods, and can be just as depressing as the nice parts are attractive.

The heavily advertised actual "tourist attractions" of Noto weren't really anywhere to stay long. A small set of rice terraces going down to the sea (half an hour maybe), a (now half collapsed) island that looks like a battleship or something from a manga (cool, but an hour tops), a beach you can drive on (cool, but most inbounds don't rent cars), .... There were a couple of nice looking pensions/lodges that served good food, one was foreign owned, but never went because none of them allowed children to stay there.

500 tourists spending 200,000 yen each in five to seven days is only 100 million yen, about 650k USD. That's not going to do much for an area of 100,000 people.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sorry for the harsh truth but it's time to be realistic about the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa and those areas that were affected by this recent earthquake. There was a forewarning of this earthquake in 2022 when the region had a significant one - seismic problems are not going to go away because of wishful thinking about tourists reviving regions of Japan that don't have a long-term future due to demogaphic facts that can't be changed.

The regions need an influx of the youthful but it won't be happening in Ishikawa if we look at the past and present trends. There were some tourist attractions pre-the recent earthquake like the market and locals worked hard to make those kind of areas interesting. But this is not sustainable without the population to maintain it and the numbers of elderly in these kind of regions are increasing.

There shouldn't be talk of a tourism revival at this point when the destruction and damage is so evident and bodies are still under rubble. There needs to be talk backed up by action about how to prepare for the future earthquakes that are coming and especially how to limit the deaths of the elderly as well as make sure there are enough emergencies supplied stored in these towns. The fact that many survivors had just bread and cups of water for a while tells you that all the tourism talk is false priorities.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Before they fix it, they could allow a movie/TV company to use parts of it as a backdrop for disaster/war scenes, the cash going to those who need it locally.

Some folk on here may see 'disaster tourism' as ghoulish, but that is up to the locals. If they consider it a source of revenue to entice folk there - see how damaging it was, taste some local delicacies, and take quakes more seriously - then OK. The opinions of the locals are what count here.

It's difficult to clear and rebuild so much damage quickly, especially with supply chain and worker shortages. Insurance may pay a lump sum for the basic destruction, but it might not replace lost income until that income can be earned again. And it doesn't help if so many of your customers have been moved away.

Quakes are brutal. This will be tough for them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes it does seem a bit soon to be talking about recovery. This part of Japan is lovely and I greatly enjoyed traveling around the area pre pandemic. But even then there were very few tourists and you could clearly see that its best days were decades ago. The population is aged and young people do not want to live there. Rebuilding will take years and the population will have dropped even further by the time it’s finished. I wish them all the best but a future dependent on tourism is not practical or realistic.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It’s a bit weird, I think I need more time we should just send the money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kohakuebisuToday  10:58 am JST

My favourite thing about this area as someone who drove around it were the little towns with the houses with dark stained wooden siding and tiled roofs. A common complaint about Japan is that buildings are a higgedly piggedly mess of different styles and materials that is hard on the eye, but lots of nondescript and not "this way tourists!" towns on the Japan Sea side, not just in Noto, are quite charming. When they rebuild, I hope they do it this style (lightweight kawara roof tiles are not an earthquake risk) and not another mix of different coloured and textured plastic or metal siding that Tama Home, Eyeful Home, Aera Home, etc. fool people into thinking is "maintanence free". Much of the actual coastline features concrete reinforcement and tetrapods, and can be just as depressing as the nice parts are attractive.

The heavily advertised actual "tourist attractions" of Noto weren't really anywhere to stay long. A small set of rice terraces going down to the sea (half an hour maybe), a (now half collapsed) island that looks like a battleship or something from a manga (cool, but an hour tops), a beach you can drive on (cool, but most inbounds don't rent cars), .... There were a couple of nice looking pensions/lodges that served good food, one was foreign owned, but never went because none of them allowed children to stay there.

500 tourists spending 200,000 yen each in five to seven days is only 100 million yen, about 650k USD. That's not going to do much for an area of 100,000 people.´

Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the area. Very interesting .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

kohakuebisuToday  10:58 am JST

My favourite thing about this area as someone who drove around it were the little towns with the houses with dark stained wooden siding and tiled roofs. A common complaint about Japan is that buildings are a higgedly piggedly mess of different styles and materials that is hard on the eye, but lots of nondescript and not "this way tourists!" towns on the Japan Sea side, not just in Noto, are quite charming. When they rebuild, I hope they do it this style (lightweight kawara roof tiles are not an earthquake risk) and not another mix of different coloured and textured plastic or metal siding that Tama Home, Eyeful Home, Aera Home, etc. fool people into thinking is "maintanence free". Much of the actual coastline features concrete reinforcement and tetrapods, and can be just as depressing as the nice parts are attractive.

The heavily advertised actual "tourist attractions" of Noto weren't really anywhere to stay long. A small set of rice terraces going down to the sea (half an hour maybe), a (now half collapsed) island that looks like a battleship or something from a manga (cool, but an hour tops), a beach you can drive on (cool, but most inbounds don't rent cars), .... There were a couple of nice looking pensions/lodges that served good food, one was foreign owned, but never went because none of them allowed children to stay there.

500 tourists spending 200,000 yen each in five to seven days is only 100 million yen, about 650k USD. That's not going to do much for an area of 100,000 people.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the area. Very interesting

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Travelled in the area many years ago, then it was only famous for lacquerware and onsens. Little mention of the morning market, rice fields, or the festivals that they hold in summer, just eating crabs in autumn!

Their lacquerware is a great souvenir or gift for visitors to Japan, bought many of them for friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tourism's such a risky and economically sensitive business. Think Greece in 2008 GFC, totally empty, no earthquake, yet their business evaporated. Ditto Covid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Money better spent on educating their children so they can be competitive for future jobs in Osaka, Tokyo and so on.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday  01:12 pm JST

Tourism's such a risky and economically sensitive business. Think Greece in 2008 GFC, totally empty, no earthquake, yet their business evaporated. Ditto Covid.

Not to mention the covid years everywhere!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I dislike the attitude that there needs to be a hurried rush to restart the economy and get non-governmental money inbound. The most important issue should be rebuilding and recovering their health/family. They should think about tourism and the economy once they have rested and recovered.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A socking scene, indeed. Japan should be more prepared against natural disasters like this, than threatening attacks on its cities by China, North Korea, or Russia.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I met a woman after the Kobe earthquake and she had ptsd and trouble sleeping. Not sure the goto gimmick is appropriate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Redemption

I met a woman after the Kobe earthquake and she had ptsd and trouble sleeping. Not sure the goto gimmick is appropriate.

Thousands of people had PTSD after the quake, even after 10-15 years. People in the park disturbed and talking to themselves. Healing can take a very long time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Love a good disaster movie but disaster tourism, that's a seller.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

One of the "locals" interviewed for this piece, Hajime Koyama, is from Osaka, not Noto Hanto, as per his profile on the Noto DMC homepage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It looks like it will take an enormous cleanup effort . . . . After the Fukushima disaster, I was able to offer help with the cleanup effort through my CO in the US, and we were able to go to help in 2013, . . . I hope such assistance can also be offered to the Noto area . . . .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

More foreign tourists should make plans to include a trip soon to the Noto Peninsula to enjoy the amazing seafood, nature and hospitality.

Except that all the cool little shops are gone, the hotels and restaurants are damaged, and the owners are all in their 70's and not likely to rebuild.

Tokyo should be paying these people to help them move out. Noto was dying before, the quake just sped things up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry to say the fact but i would be scared to travel there for, at least, the next 10 years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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