Activity Reports

Foreign Correspondents Press Tour

Foreign Correspondents Press Tour Visited Koyasan, Wakayama

   The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion invited foreign correspondents to a press tour held in Wakayama prefecture on July 15th and 16th. The tour theme was “Koyasan, the Sacred Buddhist Monastery in the Sky”. After 1,200 years from the founding as a monastery for Buddhist training, Koyasan is now drawing worldwide attention. This tour visited its major places of interest and interviewed with Reverend Ryusho SOEDA, Director General of Kongobuji Temple and Yoshinobu NISAKA, the governor of Wakayama prefecture.

   On the first day of the tour, a briefing on the charm of Wakayama and its promotional activities was held by the head of the tourism bureau and the chief of the general affairs, followed by the interview with the governor of Wakayama prefecture. The correspondents asked the governor for his opinions on the depopulation and infrastructure building in Wakayama, TPP, the booming market of China, and so on. In Koyasan, many correspondents showed their strong interest in the coexistence and interchange of Buddhism, Shintoism and other religions. The correspondents visited Niutsuhime Shrine on the second day of the tour. Shinto priest Kouichi NIU explained that Kobo Daishi (monk Kukai) had respected not only Buddhism but also ancient deities in Japan, and that the relationship between Niutsuhime Shrine and Koyasan symbolized the generous attitude of the Japanese toward religions. NIU also explained that this incomparable fusion of Shintoism and Buddhism was appreciated in its registration of UNESCO World Heritage site.

   Immediately after the tour, Italian financial press, Il Sole 24 Ore introduced the “Shukubo” temple in its on-line video article. Xinhua News Agency in China and the Central News Agency in Taiwan delivered an article to introduce Koyasan and its attractiveness with outstanding photos, which was subsequently reprinted by many other media outlets. Also The Japan Journal, a monthly magazine to introduce a wide variety of topics of Japan, wrote four-page feature story of Koyasan based on the press tour.

Interview with Governor Nisaka
Interview with Soeda
Article by The Japan Journal