Social entrepreneur Adam Fulford held a lecture at the home of AYF, Manabi no Sato, and organized a walkshop at Izanagi Shrine located on Awaji Island. His lecture focused on regional revitalization in Japan using transformative travel and the importance of engagement with the local community during the process. He identified key problems in regional areas in Japan which are the lack of people, leaders, and capital, and explained how his method of transformative travel by involving the local community can solve the issues.
It has been obvious in recent years that one of the biggest issues in Japan is not related to infrastructure, crime, or poverty, but it is the declining population and the impacts hit rural areas the most. Not only it decreases the functions of regional communities, but it also lowers the quality of education and medical care in rural areas. Moreover, traditional tourism does not solve all the problems since converting abandoned areas for tourism and commercial purposes can encourage people to come or visit, but it does not create staying power for people to actually stay in the areas and do something meaningful.
Transformative travel requires a process, but it is a very powerful strategy to solve problems. Since it involves the regional communities to offer meaningful activities to tourists, it is a powerful strategy and by activating authentic culture, it helps all parties to become stronger and solve the issues of lack of people, leaders, and capital.
The walkshop by Adam Fulford focused on the explanation of the history of Japan and Izanagi Shrine, which is the oldest Shinto Shrine in Japan and is believed to play an important role in the creation of Japan since there are many myths associated with The God Izanagi and Izanami. It is a peaceful place with a stone walkway leading into the shrine areas.
Adam Fulford is the CEO of Fulford Enterprises, established in 1985, and supports the production of NHK TV shows in English. He has been working as a language consultant since 1981, offering support for many NHK programs. His passion for revitalizing regional areas in Japan gave him the idea to hold an activity called walkshop. He believes that the combination of traditional and modern values can cultivate happiness and sustainability.
Fulford Enterprises, Ltd., established in 1985, supports the production of NHK TV shows in English. It has been seeking paths to a brighter future with representatives of regional communities. Adam Fulford’s ultimate goal is to access and share information that will contribute to human resilience, and he sees elderly people in regional Japan as a key source of this information.