Monitor tour to explore potential for tourism in the Toyama district of Minami-ku, Sapporo

March 7

Nine organizations, including a fruit orchard in the Toyama district of Minami-ku, Sapporo and a Sapporo travel agent have teamed up to create the “Active Village Toyama Executive Committee” and, on February 17, began moves to make the Toyama district into a new tourist destination. On the same day, a monitor tour named TOYAMA Plan was organized.

 Last October, the travel agent and a hotel company formed the executive committee to focus on the Toyama district near central Sapporo and Jozankei Onsen, where Mt. Hakken and fruit orchards are located. Land was borrowed from local residents in order to implement the tour, with a view to developing tourism resources there after the Coronavirus pandemic has been brought under control.

 On the day, approximately 100 students took part in the monitor tour, in which they built an igloo and set up tables and chairs inside to make it look like an accommodation facility. Inside the igloo, participants warmed themselves by eating indigenous Ainu cuisine such as chep ohau (salmon broth) and the like.

 A 10-meter-diameter ice merry-go-round known as an “ice carousel” was created on the fishing pond, and a mock wedding ceremony and an Iomante rimuse – a traditional Ainu dance depicting the send-off of the spirit of a dead bear – was performed on the ice. In the evening, the venue was lit up and participants in the tour enjoyed a magical stage show.

 The executive committee will stream images of the event on social media and the video sharing platform YouTube, and plans to begin work on commoditizing the tour sometime after April.

Participants in the monitor tour enjoying Ainu cuisine inside the igloo
Traditional Ainu dance performed on a circle of ice cut in the fishing pond

Location

Toyama district of Minami-ku, Sapporo

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