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Special Media Event on Japanese Breakfasts Held for Overseas Media to Promote Japanese Rice, Hosted by Rice Stable Supply Support Organization

February 25, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

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.

Japanese Etiquette Session (Photo: Business Wire)

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.

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